[Sponsored Report] LG Chem plans to build on C&EN success

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[Sponsored Report] LG Chem plans to build on C&EN success


LG Chem will invest 2.6 trillion won ($2.2 billion) to expand its plant in Yeosu, South Jeolla, by 2021 [LG CHEM]

LG Chem came in at No. 10 on a 2017 list of global chemical companies from C&EN, a weekly magazine published by the American Chemical Society.

LG Chem, the first Korean chemical company to ever enter the top 10, plans to build on that success over the next few years, with the goal of reaching the global top five by 2025. To do this, LG Chem will enhance its business structure and strengthen its R&D in preparation for the future.

This year, LG Chem will continue to pull ahead of its competitors as its core business areas adapt and change for the fourth industrial revolution, with businesses in basic materials, batteries, information technology and life sciences reevaluating their direction to ensure that customer value is preserved in a rapidly changing society.

At the same time, LG Chem aims to increase competitiveness of its existing businesses and to foster new businesses by investing more than 4 trillion won ($3.5 billion) in facility investment, a 60 percent increase compared to last year.

First, the basic materials division will continue to strengthen its competitiveness in the global market by focusing on high-value-added businesses and by fostering business structures and exploring new materials for the future.

LG Chem will invest 2.6 trillion won to expand its Yeosu, South Jeolla, plant to be able to handle 800,000 tons of naphtha cracking and 800,000 tons of high-value-added polyolefin by the end of 2021. Through this investment, the company plans to strengthen vertical integration from basic raw materials such as ethylene to marketable products and continue to expand its core business areas that can generate stable profits in the future.

The battery division continues to secure a competitive edge in terms of price, performance and safety with preemptive R&D to solidify its market leadership. In particular, the automobile battery business exceeded its order backlog of 60 trillion won in the first half of 2018. The company plans to pursue orders aggressively for large-scale projects related to third-generation electric vehicles.

Recently, LG Chem entered into a new market by signing a memorandum of understanding on battery car cooperation with VinFast, the first car maker in Vietnam. In addition, the company plans to aggressively pursue the energy storage system battery market with its market leading product with differentiated performance and cost competitiveness.

The small battery division is accelerating business transformation by expanding innovative products optimized for the latest smart devices and expanding into new markets. In addition, LG Chem plans to further strengthen its production, quality capabilities and actively invest in research and development of innovative batteries to lead the market.

The information and electronic materials division plans to expand the polarizer market and strengthen competitiveness in new business areas such as water treatment.

In order to solidify its position as the world’s No. 1 polarizer business, LG Chem is actively developing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) polarizers as well as existing liquid-crystal display polarizers.

The water treatment business is finding success overseas. The company is expanding orders for mid to large-sized projects based on product competitiveness, including for industrial use and desalination.

The materials division plans to advance the production technology of anode materials, the four major raw materials of batteries, and focus on developing high-performance OLED panels.

LG Chem recently secured a large amount of lithium hydroxide, a key raw material for high-performance electronic vehicle batteries. In August, the company signed a supply contract with Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium for 48,000 tons, adding to the 35,000 tons it secured from Nemaska Lithium in June. In April, the company signed a contract to establish a precursor and anode material production corporation with Huayou Cobalt, the world’s No. 1 cobalt refining company.

Meanwhile, LG Chem has selected energy, water and bio as new growth engines in the mid to long term and is actively investing in R&D for the future in order to leap forward as a sustainable company in a changing business environment.

BY KIM HA-EUN [kim.haeun@joongang.co.kr]
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