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Old November 22nd, 2011, 08:37 AM   #1
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KAOHSIUNG | Projects & Construction

Thu, Nov 17, 2011
Odd water color at ‘South Star’ not a concern: officials
Taipei Times

The abnormal color of seawater at the “South Star” land reclamation project in Greater Kaohsiung’s Siaogang District (小港) is the result of furnace slag from China Steel Corp that is being used in reclamation work, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday.

The Asia Luxury Yacht Manufacturing Center construction project is being developed by the Greater Kaohsiung Government and covers a total area of about 113 hectares of reclaimed land. It is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Although some environmentalists worry that the light neon-blue color may be a sign of dioxin or heavy metal contamination, the Greater Kaohsiung Government’s Environmental Protection Bureau said it was not hazardous, but a phenomenon that occurs when sunlight reflects off seawater containing white sediment.

The bureau said furnace slag is listed as a non-hazardous industrial waste that can be used for land reclamation and that water quality monitoring has proved that the seawater near the site is within safety standards.

Hsu Chung-li (徐仲禮), section chief at the bureau’s Waste Management Section, said at the site yesterday that when sunlight shines on normal seawater, six of the seven colors of the rainbow are absorbed by the water, which reflects only the color blue.

“That’s why we see the ocean as blue,” Hsu said. “The bright blue color we have been seeing is because there is carbonated acid in the water.”

Using a bottle to collect water samples for examination, Hsu said the water’s pH level was above 12, which is very alkaline.

“There is lime in the water, which is alkaline, but after a period of time, it will be balanced out by seawater and the level will return to the neutral pH level of 8,” Hsu said.

Environmental Protection Administration Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) told the legislature yesterday that dissolution experiments had shown that furnace slag was safe and that the possibility of dioxins being in the water was low, adding that the administration would nevertheless conduct further analysis.

Shen said the administration would continue to monitor water quality to ensure its safety and that a report would be published within a week.

Although the construction area is surrounded by dikes, the bureau urged people not to touch the water because of the high alkaline levels, which can irritate the skin.
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 10:05 AM   #2
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Tue, Nov 22, 2011
Activists call for park on site of Kaohsiung refinery
Taipei Times

Environmental activists hold a press conference in Greater Kaohsiung on Saturday, calling on the government to turn the petroleum refinery in Greater Kaohsiung’s Houjin District into an ecological park by 2015.
Photo: Tsao Ming-cheng, Taipei Times

Environmentalists, experts and local residents gathered in Greater Kaohsiung on Saturday for the launch of an association to promote the establishment of an ecological park at the site of the Kaohsiung petroleum refinery, which would make it the first ecological park to be built on a former industrial site, if approved.

The refinery, operated by state-run refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC), in the Houjing (後勁) area of Kaohsiung’s Nanzih District (楠梓), is scheduled to be relocated in 2015.

The decision was made on the basis of promises to relocate the refinery within 25 years, made by former premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村) as well as Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) when he was minister of economic affairs in 1990. The promises came in response to strong opposition from Houjing residents, and clashes over the Fifth Naphtha Cracker Plant between 1987 and 1990 that resulted in bloodshed.

The association urged CPC to take responsibility for cleaning up the 187 hectares of soil and groundwater pollution at the refinery site. Handing over the land to Greater Kaohsiung Government for the establishment of an ecological park would serve as compensation to Kaohsiung residents who have suffered from the pollution caused by the plant for decades, supporters said.

Association executive officer and National Kaohsiung Marine University professor Shern Jian-chuan (沈健全) said that according to environmental protection regulations, the land at the refinery site cannot be used after the plant is moved. However, he said that it might be possible to create an ecological park during the soil rectification process.

“There will be a lot of trees, wetlands and some simple facilities in the ecological park, which would best promote the recovery of the environment,” he said.

The association said the refinery park, which would be connected to Banpingshan Park (半屏山自然公園), would be the largest ecological park in Taiwan.

The association also suggested that the administrative area and CPC Hong Nan Community (宏南社區) be reconstructed as a new civic center housing the relocated council and government.

Other parts of the refinery could be preserved for educational and tourism purposes, the group said, while some control rooms could be rented to budding entrepreneurs in the creative industry sector.

Greater Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Chen Chi-yu (陳啟昱), who attended the ceremony, said he would report the requests to the mayor.
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Old November 29th, 2011, 03:50 AM   #3
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Tue, Nov 22, 2011
MND criticized by Kaohsiung cultural official
Taipei Times Staff Writer, with CNA

Greater Kaohsiung Director--General of Cultural Affairs Shih Che criticized the Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday, accusing it of trying to “sell historic monuments” after it asked the city government to buy land it owns in the city on which stands a building listed as historically significt.

At issue is a two-story building named Hsiao Yao Yuan, constructed in 1939 during the Japanese colonial era to serve as a resort for a member of the Japanese Imperial family.

Many have spoken out in favor of conserving the dilapidated structure since a postgraduate student from National Kaohsiung Normal University took all her clothes off during a show at a gallery on Sunday. The show was performed to raise awareness of the need to conserve this historic monument, said artist Hsu Min-ssu.

Faced with public outcry over its failure to maintain the 72-year-old building, the ministry said that it has no expertise in the conservation of cultural monuments and asked the city government to purchase the land so that the house could be properly renovated.

Shih said he would not accept the sale of the land because it was tantamount to “selling historic monuments.”

Shih added that he would not allow Hsiao Yao Yuan to be dismantled. The city’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs is conducting a study into the feasibility of renovating the building and will spend then next few days examining the structure to see if it has fallen into disrepair as a result of long-term mismanagement, he added.

Hsiao Yao Yuan was designated a site of historical importance in January last year, which means that the owner and government institutes are required to allocate a budget for its preservation, repair and maintenance under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act.

However, the act fails to stipulate punishments for those who fail to observe this regulation.

According to the bureau, the ministry plans to tear down the Hsing Jen New Village, a military dormitory village that includes Hsiao Yao Yuan, by the end of the year. However, the demolition will not include the historic building, an official from the city’s Cultural Heritage Preservation Center said.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #4
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Updated Sunday, November 27, 2011 0:33 am TWN
CNA
Hon Hai announces plan for cloud-based center in Kaohsiung

TAIPEI - Hon Hai Group, the world's largest contract electronics maker, will set up a cloud-based technology center in Kaohsiung in a bid to enter the software development market, government sources said Saturday.

Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, will invest NT$1.9 billion (US$62.3 million) to build the cloud technology center and a software research and development site in the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park, according to the Export Processing Zone Administration under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The Kaohsiung cloud technology center is scheduled to break ground on Dec. 1 and to be completed in two to three years, government sources said.

The Kaohsiung Software Technology Park is operated by the Export Processing Zone Administration and is part of the government's efforts to transform Kaohsiung, the second largest city in Taiwan, into a regional operation hub.

Hon Hai, which churns out iPhone and iPad for Apple as well as gadgets for other high tech giants such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sony, signed an agreement with the government in June 2009 to rent a a 1.85-hectare piece of land in the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park for the investment.

The group has posted a notice on the Internet to hire about 3,000 engineers to integrate its manufacturing and the software development businesses.

It plans to build a digital content and software service headquarters to develop a wide variety of products, such as wireless communications applications, electronics commerce platforms, and software for Internet security.

Hon Hai is one of many Taiwanese high-tech companies that are turning to cloud technology in an effort to use its value-added attributes to weather falling profit margins in the hardware manufacturing business amid fierce global competition.

Shen Jung-chin, head of the Export Processing Zone Administration, said Hon Hai's presence in the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park is expected to serve as a magnet to attract more high-tech companies.

So far, about 200 firms have set up bases in the software park, according to Shen.

The Kaohsiung City government said it believes the move by Hon Hai to invest in the city will create more jobs and produce clusters of industries, which will eventually boost the city's economy.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 01:21 PM   #5
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Updated Friday, December 23, 2011 0:14 am TWN
The China Post news staff
Sunken trackbed suspends train service

Land subsidence disrupted train service between the Taiwan Railway Administration's (TRA, 台灣鐵路管理局) Kaohsiung and New Zuoying stations.

Track ballast of the TRA Western Line (臺鐵西部幹線) caved in yesterday, five meters north of Kaohsiung's Chungdu Bridge (中都陸橋). The cavity was measured at about 10 meters long.

TRA suspended service both ways between Kaohsiung Station and New Zuoying Station for repairs.

The subsidence occurred at 3:15 p.m., about five meters from the Chengdu Bridge on Love River, said Chen Wen-chuan (陳文川) of the Kaohsiung Station yesterday.

The resulting depression measures 10 meters long, 5.4 meters wide, and five meters deep.

A train outbound from Fangliao Township (枋寮鄉) and headed for Zuoying executed an emergency stop immediately following the accident, Chen continued. The train has safely returned to Kaohsiung Station.

Repair crews rushed to the scene. During repairs, the TRA directed traffic to the Kaohsiung MRT, said Chen.
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Old February 5th, 2012, 07:44 AM   #6
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Updated Sunday, February 5, 2012 0:02 am TWN, CNA
Kaohsiung yacht industry park awaits OK: city gov't

TAIPEI--A yacht industry park that is the flagship component of the Southern Star Project in Kaohsiung City is awaiting approval by the relevant authorities, an official of the city government said Saturday.

The industry park, scheduled to be completed in four years, is expected to have an estimated annual production value of NT$10 billion (US$340 million) and create thousands of job opportunities, said Chen Wen-chao, an official at the Kaohsiung City Marine Bureau.

The bureau will submit an environmental impact assessment plan to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) by the end of April for review, Chen said.

Once the MOEA approves the reclamation project, yacht manufacturers could begin construction by the end of 2013, he added.

Under the project, a total of 113 hectares of reclaimed land will be zoned for the yacht industry park. In the initial stage, the project will occupy 47 hectares.
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Old February 9th, 2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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Updated Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:51 am TWN
The China Post
Auction of Kaohsiung properties ends in another failure

The auction of portions of the 85 Building in Kaohsiung City and a land parcel in the region again ended in failure yesterday, as the sole bidder made offers that were lower than the properties' base prices.

According to Taiwan Financial Asset Service Corp. (TFASC), which was commissioned by some of the creditor banks to conduct the sale, the failure came as a surprise as the base prices had been slashed by about 10 percent in the second auction.

At the same time, three buyers had expressed willingness to bid for the properties, yet only one made the bid eventually.

The items in the sale included spaces on the low to medium floors of the 85 Building totaling 31,000 pings, as well as 22,000 pings of land near Zuoying Station of Taiwan High-Speed Rail. Each ping is 3.3 square meters.

The properties belonged to Chien Tai Cement, which owes NT$5.298 billion to a consortium of 13 banks that provided a syndicate loan to it. Some of the creditor banks have asked TFASC to auction off NT$4.543 billion, or 85.7 percent, of the poor asset. Chien Tai used the above-mentioned properties as collateral for the loan.

According to TFASC, buyers are currently hesitant to get the properties, as they still have a lot of negotiations to do with the creditor banks before finally getting the places.

They may be waiting for another auction, whereby the floor prices will be lowered even further, TFASC said.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 05:37 PM   #8
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Updated Saturday, May 26, 2012 0:16 am TWN, CNA
Free economic zone project to commence in Kaohsiung

KAOHSIUNG--President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday he hopes the Port of Kaohsiung can work toward becoming Taiwan's first showcase free economic zone to help drive the country's economic growth.

Speaking at the groundbreaking of the second phase of the port's International Container Terminal, Ma said the proposed showcase free zone will comprise the existing Kaohsiung Free Trade Zone, export processing zones and industrial parks in the southern Taiwan city.

The government plans to invest NT$28.11 billion in the NT$90.6 billion project for the terminal's second phase, according to Taiwan International Ports Corp., which operates the Kaohsiung port.

The second phase of the terminal, which will create 19 new deepwater berths, is scheduled to be completed in 2019, the company said.

Ma said petrochemical companies in the area planning to relocate should consider moving instead to the container terminal, since 10 of the new berths will be used for a petrochemical distribution center in the terminal.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo also said that under the project, land will be allocated for the relocation of petrochemical companies in the old port area.

However, Chu Shao-hua, chairman of the state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan, said the company will move only its oil tank in the old port area and has no plans to establish a new petrochemical plant at the Kaohsiung terminal when its naphtha cracker complex shuts down in 2015.

The government confirmed May 14 that a controversial project intended to replace the production of CPC Corp.'s complex in Kaohsiung would be relocated to Malaysia.

The Kuokuang project, partly invested by CPC Corp., was proposed in 2005 and was scheduled to be built in a wetlands area in central Taiwan's Changhua County, but it was scrapped last year because of stiff opposition from local residents and environmentalists.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 02:05 PM   #9
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Old August 10th, 2012, 06:44 PM   #10
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Updated Friday, August 10, 2012 0:51 am TWN
The China Post
Kaohsiung City Government plans to build 2 bus rapid transit systems

The Kaohsiung City Government plans to build two bus rapid transit (BRT) systems to integrate and set up a sound public transportation network in the southern port city, a top city transportation official said yesterday.

Wang Kuo-tsai, director of the Kaohsiung City Transportation Bureau, made the statement at a seminar organized by the bureau to discuss the BRT system construction plan.

Wang said that the annual number of public transportation trips in Kaohsiung City is expected to break the 100 million mark by the end of this year, justifying the need for the city government to build BRT systems in the next stage of transportation reform to allow more choices for travelers and establish a robust public transportation network in Kaohsiung.

BRT is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems using buses to provide a faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling.

Guest speaker David Ta-wei Poo, former commissioner of the Taipei City Department of Transportation, encouraged Kaohsiung City Government to “do the right thing” by building the BRT systems on roads with limited width or road sections most plagued by traffic jams.

Poo added if the city government failed to proceed with the plan, the city's transportation development will soon lag behind.

Poo's opinion was echoed by Lai Wen-rai, an associate professor at the Department of International Business Administration at Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages, who said that building the most economic BRT systems is one of the most effective ways to improve public transportation.

But Hsieh Ming-hsun, president of the Taiwan Railway Culture Society, held a different view about the issue, saying what Kaohsiung City lacks most is not a “backbone” transportation system, but smaller connection vehicles.

Meanwhile, Kaohsiung City Councilor Tseng Li-yen of the Kuomintang called for the city government to research the transportation needs of coastal residents before working out its BRT system construction plan.

Tseng said that if the city government build a BRT along the coastal road of the Xiaogang District, the existing slow traffic lane designated for motorbikes may be converted into BRT.

At the moment, public transportation utilization rate in Kaohsiung City stands at 17 percent.
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Old August 28th, 2012, 06:34 PM   #11
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Tue, Aug 28, 2012
Work to begin next month at Patriot-3 missile sites
RIPPLE FIRING:In the first phase, four of the six PAC-3 units that Taiwan has purchased from the US will be deployed in areas around Taichung and Kaohsiung
Taipei Times

A Patriot PAC-3 air defense missile is launched in this undated file photo on the Web site of the Lockheed Martin Corp.
Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corp

After years of planning, work will officially begin early next month at sites around Greater Taichung and Greater Kaohsiung in preparation for the deployment of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) air defense units purchased from the US, senior officials said yesterday.

In all, NT$61.4 million (US$2 million) has been set aside from next year’s budget to prepare the sites for four PAC-3 units in the two special municipalities. A private contractor will oversee work at the sites, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman said, declined to provide further information on the engineering contract, citing Government Procurement Act (政府採購法) regulations.

Taiwan currently deploys three PAC-2 units, which were recently upgraded to PAC-3 configuration, around Taipei in Wanli (萬里), Nangang (南港) and Sindian (新店). During negotiations under Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration, it was decided that Taichung and Kaohsiung would both get Patriot units to protect the political and military centers, as well as critical infrastructure in central and southern parts of the country.

The ministry has reportedly mapped out a number of locations for the deployment of the PAC-3 units, including Greater Taichung’s Dadu Mountain (大肚山), Greater Kaohsiung’s Jenwu District (仁武), Greater Tainan’s Hutoupi (虎頭埤), as well as the Pingtung and Chiayi airports.

A military official would not confirm the sites chosen for the four units, which were included in the US$6.4 billion arms package notified to US Congress in October 2008 and are scheduled for delivery in 2014 or 2015. Two more units were part of a subsequent package announced in January 2010 and will be introduced as part of a future phase.

Raytheon Corp is the manufacturer of the fire units and radars, with Lockheed Martin Co producing the hit-to-kill missiles.

Taiwan has so far purchased a total of 388 PAC-3 missiles as part of the multibillion-dollar procurement deals. To increase the chances of intercept, PAC-3 doctrine calls for the use of two missiles per incoming target, a method known as “ripple firing.”

Although critics of the PAC-3 argue that the air defense system could easily be overwhelmed by a large number of Chinese ballistic missiles fired simultaneously or in close sequence, proponents of the system counter that from the beginning, the program was meant to deny Beijing the ability to engage in coercion by threatening limited missile attacks against key infrastructure to intimidate decisionmakers in Taipei.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 08:25 PM   #12
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Updated Wednesday, August 29, 2012 0:59 am TWN
The China Post
Kaohsiung may be part of global ocean park project

An ocean park may be built near the southern city of Kaohsiung soon as part of a U.S.-based nongovernmental organization's (NGO) project to build facilities around Pacific Rim nations in an effort to bridge cultures and promote environmental awareness, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday.

“Two senior members of the Pacific Rim Parks (PRP) Project are currently visiting Kaohsiung to conduct an on-sight inspection at the city's Cijin (旗津) District that could be the future site of the park,” Wu Rong-chuan (吳榮泉), vice chairman of the ministry's NGO Affairs Committee, said at a routine press conference.

The two visiting guests from the California-based NGO are PRP founder James Hubble and PRP President Kyle Bergman.

The NGO will make its final decision on whether to built the park in Cijin by the end of the year, Wu said. If officially chosen by the NGO, Wu said the ocean park will be jointly designed and built by local and international colleagues and architecture students from around the world as well as members of the PRP.

The construction is scheduled to be completed in six months, he added.

Starting in 1994, Hubbell's PRP has built a total of six parks in cities in Pacific Rim nations around the world so far, including in Russia, Mexico, China, the United States, South Korea, the Philippines and Japan, according to the PRP website.

The PRP project acts as a way of bridging cultures, establishing new connections and helping define what it means to be a member of the emergent Pacific Rim community, it said.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 10:50 AM   #13
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Monday, August 27, 2012
The China Post
Kaohsiung lawmakers push for land sale amendments

The China Post news staff--Legislators from Kaohsiung furnished a bill on Saturday that would allow local governments to sell their public land without the Executive Yuan's consent.

There has been a rising public demand in Kaohsiung to purchase and develop state-owned land, according to Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), a legislator-at-large who hails from Kaohsiung.

But Article 25 of the Land Act (土地法) stipulates that all sales of such land must be approved by the central government, and so the process of purchase rarely takes less than two to three years. The Land Act has long been an obstruction to local development, said Chen on Saturday.

Chen, Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and other legislators from Kaohsiung including the Kuomintang's Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) presented their amendment draft to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on Saturday.

Their bill aims to strike Article 25 of the Land Act, which states that public land under local governments' jurisdiction “shall not be disposed of, or encumbered, or leased for a period longer than ten years without the consent of the local assembly and the approval of the Executive Yuan.”

Chen Chi-mai told reporters that the Kaohsiung National Tax Administration (財政局) has repeatedly advocated the bill during council meetings, as a way to relieve financial burden for the municipality.

If passed, the bill would not only benefit Kaohsiung but loosen today's binds on rural regeneration for all cities and counties, said Chen.

The bill is scheduled for review in the Legislative Yuan's fall session.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 11:01 AM   #14
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Tue, Sep 11, 2012
Taipei Times
CEPD backs Kaohsiung’s plan for light rail system
[SIZE="3"]DEBT FIGURES:Greater Kaohsiung has the highest average debt per capita of the 22 local governments at NT$78,400, with Miaoli County coming in second

The Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) yesterday approved the Kaohsiung City Government’s plan to build a light rail system to complement its Mass Rapid Transit (KMRT) system, hoping a light rail system will boost traffic volume for mass rapid transit in the city.

The building of the 36-station and 22.1km light rail system may be differentiated into two stages, with the first stage scheduled to break ground by the end of this year and begin operation in the middle of 2015, the council said in a statement.

The second stage of the plan is set to start operation by 2019, the statement said.

“The launch of the light rail system may raise daily traffic volume for the city’s mass rapid transit by 52.7 percent,” KMRT Bureau director-general Chen Tsun-yung (陳存永) told a media briefing in Taipei.

The daily traffic volume of KMRT averaged 160,000 passengers in the second quarter, remaining lower than the break-even level, further deepening the system’s losses, Chen said.

The light rail system could link the two lines of the KMRT and boost traffic for the overall mass transit system in the city, he added.

Building the light rail system is expected to cost NT$16.54 billion (US$556.15 million), with the self-liquidation ratio reaching 39.64 percent, the statement showed.

Excluding the expense of land and self-liquidation costs, the city government is to spend NT$1.8 billion on the plan, with the central government paying the other NT$6.36 billion, Chen said.

In other news from Greater Kaohsiung, the average debt per capita in the city amounted to NT$78,400 at the end of last month, maintaining the highest level among the 22 local governments in the nation, Ministry of Finance data showed yesterday.

Miaoli County had the second-highest debt per capita at NT$71,000, followed by the NT$62,000 debt per capita recorded for Taipei City, ministry statistics showed.

Kinmen and Lienchiang counties reported zero debt for the third straight month, according to ministry’s data.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 09:20 AM   #15
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Thu, Sep 20, 2012
Kaohsiung slammed over stadium plan
Taipei Times

The Sports Affairs Council (SAC) yesterday criticized the Greater Kaohsiung Government for its proposed plan to remove the track and field facilities from the National Stadium and turn it into a baseball stadium, adding that the city government has acted contrary to the takeover plan it submitted to the council.

The council issued the statement after media reported that Greater Kaohsiung planned to outsource the management of the National Stadium to private contractors. One of the contractors proposed to remove the track and field facilities, lay down grass and turn the stadium into a baseball stadium. In its statement, the council used the word “unbelievable” to describe what it said was an outrageous decision. The stadium was built specifically for the 2009 World Games in Greater Kaohsiung.

The council said the central government spent NT$6.5 billion (US$221.6 million) of taxpayers’ money to build the stadium, which is equipped with a standard track and field certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). It is also equipped with a soccer pitch that complies with the specifications set by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA).

“The city government is evaluating the possibility [of turning the stadium into a baseball stadium], and we strongly oppose the proposal,” the statement said. “The plan would also be contrary to the plan the city submitted when it took over the operation of the stadium.”

The council said it had ensured the National Stadium could maintain operations before the city government took over last year. It had hoped that the Greater Kaohsiung Government would use the stadium mainly for track and field competitions and soccer games. As such, the council had promised to subsidize the operation of the National Stadium for the three years after the city government took over, to the tune of NT$40 million a year.

Prior to the takeover, the city government had been urging the council to quickly turn the operation of the National Stadium over to it. Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) even accused the SAC of deliberately delaying the transfer of management of the national sports facility. However, except for concerts by Taiwanese music band Mayday (五月天), the city government has done practically nothing with the stadium in the past year.

Sports associations in Greater Kaohsiung objected to the proposal as well. Some said Taiwan would be an international laughingstock if it destroyed an international-standard track and field facility less than four years after the high-profile World Games.

Others said the proposal was simply unacceptable, given that the city is due to host the National Athletic Games in 2015.

In response, the city government said it cost about NT$80 million a year to maintain the National Stadium, adding that it would carefully evaluate every proposal.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 09:36 AM   #16
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Mon, Oct 29, 2012
Kaohsiung bridge re-opens after help from China
Taipei Times with CNA

A bridge in Greater Kaohsiung that was destroyed by massive flooding triggered by Typhoon Morakot in August 2009 opened to traffic on Saturday after being rebuilt with funds donated by China.

The Huoshan Bridge on the Jiaxian-Shanlin section of the No. 21 provincial highway was one of dozens of bridges and roads in mountainous areas of Kaohsiung that were partially or entirely damaged by the storm, the Morakot Post-Disaster Reconstruction Council said.

Knowing that Taiwan needed funds to get the area back on its feet, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office and the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) jointly raised funds from Chinese donors to help rebuild the bridge, the council said.

The reconstruction of Huoshan Bridge began in November last year, with the Taiwan Mazu Fellowship, a religious civic group, commissioned to take charge of the project, which was completed at a cost of NT$540 million (US$18.46 million).

Described as an extradosed bridge, which is similar to a cable-stayed bridge but with a lower tower, Huoshan Bridge now stretches 280m.

It was designed based on ideas inspired by the roofs of local temples and the crown of Matsu (媽祖), the goddess of the sea who is widely worshiped in Taiwan, Taiwan Mazu Fellowship honorary chairman Yen Chin-piao (顏清標) said during the inauguration ceremony.

The bridge’s opening was also witnessed by Morakot Post-Disaster Reconstruction Council chief executive Chern Jenn-chuan (陳振川), Deputy Kaohsiung Mayor Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森) and ARATS Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中).
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Old November 5th, 2012, 12:57 AM   #17
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Updated Friday, November 2, 2012 12:03 am TWN
The China Post
Kaohsiung City housing sales slow in third quarter

Property sales in the southern municipality of Kaohsiung were slow in the third quarter, reported Cathay Real Estate yesterday.

According to the firm, new constructions and prices remained stable in the last quarter. Yet sales have been slow, with 60 percent of new properties seeing less than two units sold, the firm said.

Cathay blamed the situation on a wait-and-see attitude taken by homebuyers, amidst the launch of the real-value home price registration system.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 05:58 PM   #18
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Sat, Nov 17, 2012
Taiwanese port operator attracts major investment
Taipei Times with CNA



State-run Taiwan International Ports Corp (TIPC, 臺灣港務公司) signed agreements yesterday with 18 companies that have pledged to invest a combined total of NT$55.4 billion (US$1.89 billion) in Taiwan’s major harbors.

TIPC said the investments are expected to create about 5,600 jobs and generate NT$30.6 billion in tax revenues over the next two to three years.

The 18 companies, from the shipping, logistics, manufacturing and international trade sectors, include Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), China Petrochemical Development Corp (中石化) and state-owned oil supplier CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油), TIPC officials said.

China Petrochemical Development, one of the world’s top five producers of caprolactam, is planning to invest more than NT$35 billion, the largest single investment, to build artificial fiber and plastics production facilities in a petrochemical park at Taichung Port in central Taiwan, officials said.

Evergreen Marine, the country’s largest shipping company, will pour funds into Kaohsiung Port in southern Taiwan to improve its facilities with the aim of using the harbor as an operations hub.

However, the officials did not disclose financial details about the Evergreen investment.

Meanwhile, TIPC said cargo volume handled by Taiwan’s four major harbors — the ports of Keelung, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Hualien — in the first 10 months of this year rose 4.13 percent from a year earlier to 11.59 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

Cargo volume handled by the four harbors for cross-strait trade during the same period rose 8.52 percent from a year ago to 1.76 million TEUs, the operators said.

TEUs are the measurement of cargo capacity on container ships or at container terminals.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 06:48 PM   #19
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Thu, Dec 06, 2012
First phase of Kaohsiung light rail project set for 2015
Taipei Times with CNA

Greater Kaohsiung is scheduled to complete the first phase of a light rail system in 2015 after the central government raised its subsidies for the project, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said.

The project, budgeted at NT$16.54 billion (US$567 million), originally received a subsidy of NT$4.41 billion from the central government, but the Council for Economic Planning and Development recently agreed to raise the subsidy to NT$6.36 billion, with the city government raising the rest of the funds, Chen said.

The light rail system is expected to boost land value along its circular route by NT$4.23 billion and increase tax revenues by NT$1.26 billion, said Chen Tsun-yung (陳存永), director of Kaohsiung’s Mass Rapid Transit Bureau.

The first stage of construction will be the 8.7km Qianzhen to Xiziwan section, while the remaining 13.5km is scheduled for completion in 2019, the bureau said.

The city has two metro lines with only one interchange station and the system has suffered average monthly operating losses of NT$200 million due to low ridership since its launch in 2009.

The light rail system is aimed at boosting ridership by expanding the overall network. Various major public facilities, including the under-construction Kaohsiung Exhibition and Convention Center, a popular music center and a port terminal, will be connected by the light rail, Chen Chu said.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 03:11 PM   #20
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Sat, Jan 12, 2013
Groups up in arms over freeway plans
ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS : Saying that the freeway would impact the local ecology, and would also not reduce jams, protestors urged officials to think again
Taipei Times

Dozens of environmentalists and Greater Kaohsiung residents yesterday demonstrated outside the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in Taipei against the construction of a new freeway through the city, as an environmental impact assessment (EIA) meeting was being held inside.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications wants to build a 23km stretch of National Freeway No. 7 parallel to the Sun Yat-sen Freeway (National Freeway No. 1) because the Sun Yat-sen is often jammed with heavy cargo trucks in the section near Kaohsiung Port.

Under the plan, National Freeway No. 7 would start from the port area and merge into National Freeway No. 10, which connects both the Sun Yat-sen Freeway and Formosa Freeway (National Freeway No. 3), so that some of the northbound traffic would travel on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway while some would move via the Formosa Freeway.

Environmentalists and residents have raised questions about the impact of the proposed freeway and are worried that it may impact the ecology of the area.

“I seriously doubt the benefit of the planned National Freeway No. 7 because despite the existence of the Formosa Freeway and National Freeway No. 10 in the area, most drivers still like to drive on Sun Yat-sen Freeway,” Citizens of the Earth Taiwan representative Yang Chun-lang (楊俊朗) said. “So maybe it’s a better idea to encourage more drivers to use the two existing freeways.”

Yang said the listed budget for the 23km freeway is NT$66 billion (US$2.2 billion).

“It’s really a waste of taxpayers’ money,” Yang said.

Kaohsiung resident Chien Chih-chiang (簡志強) agrees.

“There are a handful of existing roads, there’s no need to spend that much money to construct a new freeway,” Chien said. “Especially when drivers would still choose the Sun Yat-sen Freeway because it’s a shorter route.”

Chien also expressed his concern over the impact of construction on the environment, since the proposed freeway would pass through mostly rural areas of some ecological significance.

Wang Chun-fa (王春發), a 61-year-old farmer, is worried about expropriation of private land, which may alter the lives of residents.

“Officials should not try to change our lifestyle with a decision that they made sitting in an air-conditioned office,” Wang said. “I urge all EIA committee members to come visit us and see the environment for themselves.”

The EIA meeting ended late in the afternoon without reaching a conclusion.
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