LG Chem, the nation’s largest chemical company, will invest 3.8 trillion won this year, a 52 percent increase on-year, to accelerate its goal of reaching the world’s top five by 2025, the company said Sunday.
The investment is being made to prepare each business for the “fourth industrial revolution,” increase competitiveness and explore new businesses, it said.
LG Chem’s carbon nanotube plant in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province (LG Chem)
The company plans to speed up its development of more high value-added basic materials, increase R&D investment in batteries and strengthen the profitability of IT and electronic materials.
In the basic materials segment, the company is reviewing whether to expand its facilities for the manufacture of carbon nanotubes, tiny tubes made of a single layer of carbon atoms that have uses in batteries, airplane bodies, car parts and semiconductors.
LG Chem completed last year a 25 billion won project to build a plant for carbon nanotubes in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province. Starting in January, 2017, the company has operated a plant capable of making 400 tons of carbon nanotubes a year.
It is considering building additional factories next year. It also plans to increase production of elastomers -- synthetic resins that have both rubber and plastic properties -- to 290,000 tons this year, to become one of the world’s top three producers.
The battery maker will seek to secure more large-scale projects aimed at producing vehicles that run more than 500 kilometers per charge and target the energy storage systems market by increasing LG’s price competitiveness.
As for materials for IT and electronic devices, the company plans to build more production line of polarizing plates in China and secure more of reverse osmosis filters in China and India.
Last year, the company acquired GS E&M, cathode material business under GS Energy Corp. to take a lead in electric car batteries.
In the biopharma segment, the company plans to focus on the development of drugs to cure cancer, diabetes and immune disorders.