New CEO of LG Chem sticking to investments

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New CEO of LG Chem sticking to investments

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Park Jin-soo

The new CEO of LG Chem, Park Jin-soo, has said the company won’t slash any investments this year, although he expects a tough year ahead due to the slow global economic recovery.

At a press conference on Monday, Park said the company will sink 2.1 trillion won ($1.9 billion) into facility investments this year, up 2.2 percent from last year.

“Despite the continuing economic downturn, LG Chem will keep making investments in facilities and its position as the leader of the Korean petrochemical industry this year,” Park said.

He said the largest investment will be allotted for an expansion of the company’s LCD glass production facilities this year. The company plans to build one or two additional production lines by next year.

LG Chem’s sales target will also rise to 24.86 trillion won, up 6.9 percent from last year.

The company is the first electric vehicle battery developer in the country, but it hasn’t seen remarkable growth in profits due to slower-than-expected rise in demand for electric vehicles (EV) worldwide.

It currently supplies EV batteries for General Motors’ Volt. The company’s EV battery plant in Holland, Michigan, stopped operating last year due to flat demand.

“I’m positive the global EV market is going to grow gradually in the coming years,” Park said. “The markets for hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are, for sure, going to see rapid growth.”

Despite concerns about a deepening crisis in the Korean petrochemical industry due to rising Chinese rivals, Park said even if Chinese businesses become more self-sufficient, the country’s imports will not decrease.

“Therefore, Korean companies’ exports won’t be affected, and I can say that the Korean petrochemical industry is not facing a real crisis,” he said.


By Song Su-hyun [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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