[Sponsored Report] SK Innovation gives back to Ulsan

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[Sponsored Report] SK Innovation gives back to Ulsan

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An aerial view of Ulsan Grand Park, which SK dedicated to the city’s citizens. Ulsan’s residents have been instrumental in helping SK Group expand its businesses. Provided by the company

“I do not like to use the term ‘social contribution’ because we are not just responsible for the community. We are in debt to the community,” said the late founder of SK Group, Chey Jong-hyun.

“A corporation’s profits belong to society from the beginning.”

Chey decided to build Ulsan Grand Park because the city is the second birthplace of SK.

The conglomerate first formed its relationship with the metropolitan city when it established Ulsan Textile in Ujeong-dong, Ulsan, in 1968. Its polyester plant was also built in Ulsan six years later. In 1980, SK acquired the Korea Oil Corporation, also located in Ulsan, and formed an integrated production line of energy and chemicals.

In order to pay back Ulsan residents, who were great supporters of the company, SK Group invested more than 100 billion won ($90.5 million) to build Ulsan Grand Park in hopes of improving the living environment for residents.

SK and the Ulsan City authorities invested 152.5 billion won to build the park on 898 acres of land. Although the group faced difficulties - such as the IMF financial crisis and death of the founder - the chairman and the founder’s son, Chey Tae-won, insisted on keeping their promise to Ulsan’s citizens. As soon the park was completed in 2006, the group dedicated it to Ulsan City.

SK Innovation, the petrochemical producer under the group, holds various cultural events every year to promote the park as a place for relaxation and culture. Twelve years after the park opened, the number of visitors reached 5,900 last October. This year, the number is expected to hit 6,000 at the end of the year.

“We will continue to follow the will of the late chairman and create more happiness in this society,” said an SK Group official.

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