LG Chem to invest $1.5 billion this year

2015_01_LGSouth Korea’s top chemical firm LG Chem aims for resurgence with the aggressive investment plan for this year. According to the chemical company on Tuesday, it is planning to invest a total of 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion) in major businesses such as petrochemical, information and electronic materials and li-ion batteries this year. The amount of investment is an increase of 13.3 percent from last year’s 1.5 trillion won.

By sector, the company would invest 730 billion won in adding production lines, 300 billion won in research and development and 760 billion won in the existing businesses. If investment in fixed assets and separate personnel expenses are included, research & development investment would climb to a total of 610 billion won. The figure is up 20 billion won from last year. Eyes are on the aggressive investment plan by LG Chem especially as most chemical and oil refining companies are considering freezing or scaling back investment this year.

For full article, see Maeil Business.

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Ulsan port emerges as Northeast Asian oil hub

“The port of Ulsan lies at a strategic foothold of marine transportation for Asia and the Pacific Ocean. Ulsan Port Authority will work diligently to turn the port into a hub of the Northeast Asian oil distribution by expanding and harnessing grand-scale petrochemistry infrastructure,” said Park Jong-rok, president of the Ulsan Port Authority (UPA).

The port of Ulsan, which marks its 50th anniversary this year, was developed throughout the course of a five-year economic development plan in 1963. Over the past 50 years, the figures representing the amount of commerce associated with Ulsan port have increased staggeringly. The quantity of good transported at the time of opening amounted to a total of 924,000 tons and the number of ships coming into port was a meager 1,900. Today, the amount has surpassed 100 million tons, up by a factor of 177, and the number of ships increased tenfold to 2,576.

In the 1970s, with automotive and shipbuilding industries booming and petrochemistry businesses expanding, the port of Ulsan witnessed rapid growth, subsequently propping up heavy chemical industries. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, traffic demand of export cargo surged at the port, subsequently leading to the expansion of the port. Today, the port of Ulsan is the third largest port in Korea after those located in Busan and Gwangyang, and it remains at the top in the area of liquid treatment. In terms of liquid cargo treatment, the port of Ulsan is ranked fourth worldwide after Houston, Rotterdam, and Singapore, dealing with 200 million tons annually.

For full article, see Korea IT Times.

Hyundai Oilbank and Shell break ground on base oil plant

South Korea’s refiner Hyundai Oilbank joined forces with the global energy giant Shell Petroleum in a bid to enter into the base oil market. Hyundai Shell Base Oil held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the base oil manufacturing plant, to be built in Daesan, South Chungcheong Province.

Hyundai Shell Base Oil is a joint venture where Hyundai owns a 60 percent stake in the company while Shell controls the remaining 40 percent.

The new plant will be built on a 33,000 square-meter-site (about 10,000 pyeong) with the daily input to reach around 20,000 barrels. The plant will be operational right after the construction is completed in the latter half (H2) of next year.

For full article, see Maeil Business.

Petroleum products ranked no. 1 among Korea’s major export items

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said on December 4 that Korea will break the US$1-trillion barrier in trade figures (sum of export and import figures) by the 8th. The item that contributed most was none other than petroleum products including gasoline, diesel, and lubricant, overtaking traditional major export items such as ships, semiconductors, and automobiles.
 
The amount of exports in petroleum products for the 11 months between January and November was $51.72 billion, accounting for 10.3 percent in total exports. It also exhibited the highest growth rate among the top-ten export items.
 
The total export figure for the year is forecast to be $555.2 billion, almost identical to that recorded in 2011. The top export items other than petroleum products for the 11-month period were semiconductors ($46.1 billion), general machinery ($44.0 billion), automobiles ($43.0 billion), petrochemical ($42.0 billion), steel products ($32.6 billion), and mobile communications ($19.8 billion).
 
For full article, see Korea Economic Daily.

SK takes a highly technical approach to going global

This year, SK Group aims to increase its exports by utilizing its unique research and development system, dubbed R&BD+E. The R&BD+E system – which stands for resource and business development plus engineering – is supposed to minimize risks in starting new businesses through close scrutiny by engineering experts.

SK Group, which owns Korea’s No. 1 telecommunications company, is more recognized for its domestic service businesses rather than being a manufacturer contributing to the country’s exports. So it was a surprise earlier this month when the third-largest conglomerate said that exports of its seven manufacturing subsidiaries – SK Innovation, SK Energy, SK Global Chemical, SK Lubricants, SKC, SK Chemical, SK Networks – accounted for 70 percent of their total sales in the first two months of the year.

The family-run group has now set an ambitious goal: to become a “genuinely global business” by increasing exports and expanding operations abroad. “We aim to take a third quantum jump this year with our unique R&BD+E system,” the company announced this week.

Korea to establish ‘Green Technology Center’ to speed up green growth

South Korea will establish a new think tank that oversees the country’s “green growth” drive aimed at seeking economic growth by boosting environment-friendly technologies and industries, a presidential committee said Thursday.

The “Green Technology Center,” set to launch in March, will coordinate and support green growth policies of related ministries and agencies and help boost cooperation between research centers home and abroad, the Presidential Committee on Green Growth said. The committee was to report the center’s establishment to President Lee Myung-bak on Thursday.

A task force comprising the top researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Korea Institute of Energy Research has been working on the establishment, it said.

For full article see Yonhap News.

South refiners’ exports break $62 bn landmark

South Korea’s annual oil refining exports broke an all-time high of 76 trillion won (49 billion Euro) as of October this year.

The annual exports of oil refiners in the January to October period posted 76.1 trillion won (49 billion Euro), up 20.8 percent from the annual exports of 63.1 trillion won (40 billion Euro) in 2010, according to the four major refiners Monday including SK Innovation, GS Caltex, S-Oil, and Hyundai Oilbank.

This year’s sales for 10 months not only exceeded last year’s annual sales, but also topped the previous record of 2008 annual sales of 68.1 trillion won (44 billion Euro).

For full article see Maeil Business.