Lotte Chemical sets sights high

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Lotte Chemical sets sights high

Lotte Chemical vowed to post 50 trillion won ($45 billion) in sales by 2030, from 16.5 trillion won in 2018, to become the world’s seventh-largest chemical firm, the company announced Monday.

The announcement was made at a signing ceremony jointly held by the company and Hyundai Oilbank for the building of a heavy feed petrochemical complex (HPC). The new facility will be established as a joint venture called Hyundai Chemical.

Lotte Chemical, along with other related chemical companies, plans to make a 3.7 trillion won in investments by 2022, and forecasts it will create some 30,000 new jobs.

Hyundai Oilbank owns 60 percent of Hyundai Chemical, while Lotte Chemical owns the remaining 40 percent. Hyundai Oilbank and Lotte Chemical announced a memorandum of understanding for the joint effort to build the complex last year. A total of 2.7 trillion won will be invested in the complex, which will be established at Hyundai Oilbank’s facility in Daesan in South Chungcheong.

“Along with the full-scale construction of the HPC, Lotte Chemical is increasing the production at Ulsan and Yeosu,” said Lim Byung-yun, CEO of Lotte Chemical.

Lotte Chemical “will grow to become the seventh-largest chemical firm in global scale, with 50 trillion won in sales by 2030, by diversifying raw materials and expanding the global production base.”

The company has spent 370 billion won since 2017 to strengthen its competitiveness in the production of raw materials and build more factories in the two cities.

Lotte Chemical spent 50 billion won in Ulsan to expand capacity for the production of purified isophthalic acid (PIA), a raw material used in making high-performance multipurpose plastics, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

PIA is only produced by seven manufacturers in the world. Lotte Chemical has been producing the largest amount of the raw material since 2014.

Lotte’s other chemical affiliates, such as Lotte Fine Chemical and Lotte BP Chemical, have made their own production investments.

Lotte Fine Chemical, which produces high value-added chemicals, invested 115 billion won in the production of methyl cellulose, a chemical compound derived from cellulose and used as a thickener and emulsifier in food and cosmetic products.

Lotte BP Chemical is expanding its production of acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer to raise production from 750,000 tons to 1.05 million tons a year. The materials are used in food packaging and cigarette filters.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

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