LG Chem to triple elastomer production by 2018


South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. recently announced its plans to invest KRW400 billion (around US$351.6 million) in building the country’s largest elastomer facility to meet growing demand and application of the polymer with rubber and plastic features.

The 59,400 sq m factory in Daesan, South Chungcheong Province will be completed in 2018. It will significantly increase annual production capacity of elastomer from the current 90,000 metric tonnes to 290,000 metric tonnes.

The output, with estimated sales of KRW600 billion, will safely put LG as the world’s third largest elastomer maker after Dow Chemical Company and Exxon Mobil Corp.

Elastomers can be used widely from shoes and hoses to cables and car interior/exterior materials.

The global demand in elastomer is expected to increase from KRW2.4 trillion last year to KRW3.5 trillion by 2020, according to a market research firm Chemical Market Resources Inc.

Yet entries are difficult due to the sophisticated manufacturing procedures, leaving just about four companies as primary suppliers.

LG Chem has a patented technology on metallocene catalyst that is crucial in producing the polymer. The company said it was making preemptive investment to stay ahead in high-performance materials market.


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