LG Corporation to invest 2 trillion won in recycling
LG Corporation will spend 2 trillion won ($1.5 billion) developing biomaterials and recycling plastics and battery waste over five years, a push aligned with the concept of a circular economy and in the face of stronger environment regulations.
A large portion of the investment will go toward building a factory in the United States to produce biodegradable plastics that are made from fermented corn starch.
LG Chem, a chemical company 33.34 percent owned by LG Corporation, is jointly conducting the project with Chicago-based Archer Daniels Midland under an agreement signed last year.
The factory will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tons and is scheduled for 2025 completion.
LG Chem spearheaded its own initiative of producing white post-consumer recycled plastics. It was impossible to make recycled plastics in any color aside from black and grey before LG Chem succeeded in developing one a year ago. It is now on track to develop recycled transparent plastics products.
The funding will be also used to procure materials of electric vehicle batteries from Li-Cycle, a Canadian battery recycling company.
Last December, LG Chem and LG Energy Solution agreed with Li-Cycle to buy 20,000 tons of nickel obtained from recycled batteries and scrap generated from manufacturing process for 10 years, starting in 2023.
The companies together own 2.6 percent of Li-Cycle.
Another area of focus is carbon reduction techniques that could convert carbon-emitting energy sources into the energies with little or no carbon emissions.
One of the related projects is the building of LG Chem’s hydrogen plant in Daesan, South Chungcheong, based on a process that converts methane gases produced from cracking naphtha into hydrogen.
The plant will have an annual capacity of 50,000 tons and will be up and running in the second half of 2024, according to the chemical company.
LG Corporation Chairman Koo Kwang-mo visited an R&D center run by LG Chem in Magok-dong, western Seoul, to check the progress on research about biodegradable materials and recycling techniques.
“It is important to focus on technologies that translate into enhanced consumer experience,” Koo said in a statement.
“We need to set a clear objectives and the right pace and investment size to achieve the goal,” he said.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]