BUSINESS

LG Chem to supply desalination filters to Omani plant

By Kim Young-won
  • Published : Jun 13, 2016 - 18:41
  • Updated : Jun 14, 2016 - 12:50
[THE INVESTOR] LG Chem, one of Korea’s leading chemical companies, has been picked as the exclusive supplier of seawater filters for a desalination plant in Oman, the company said Monday.

The LG Group affiliate said it would supply by the end of this year about 20,000 reverse osmosis desalination filters, which can process 250,000 tons of seawater a day, to the plant being built by water desalination plant operator Sohar SWRO in Sohar, Oman.

The head office of LG Group in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Reverse osmosis is a water purification technology that makes seawater drinkable by removing impurities with a semipermeable membrane.

The contract is said to be worth tens of billions of won, including the replacement filters, according to industry sources.

The seawater around the Persian Gulf requires the state-of-the-art filtering technology and desalination capability due to its high salt concentration.

In a series of tests by SWRO, LG Chem’s desalination technology reportedly earned the highest scores among others in eliminating salt and boron from seawater.

With the latest contract, the Korean chemical company now provides reverse osmosis filters to 19 countries since it opened its factory late last year. The list of countries includes Egypt, Israel, Spain and Mexico.

Last year, the company succeeded in raising the performance of its reverse osmosis system by 30 percent and reaching a salt elimination rate of 99.85 percent, the highest in the industry.

LG Chem is seeking to open a new factory line starting from the end of this year to amplify the production size by three times. It previously injected about 40 billion won in building a new factory line.

It is also aiming to expand its global sales networks to 17 countries in a bid to pioneer the world’s water purification market.

As of now, it has built networks in 12 countries, mostly in Europe and the Middle East.

Experts have anticipated that the size of the global reverse osmosis filter market will reach 2.2 trillion won ($1.8 billion) by 2020, with an annual growth rate of 10 percent. The size of the market reached 1.5 trillion won last year.

By Lee Hyun-jeong (rene@heraldcorp.com)