LG CHEM
Plans for technical centres in US, Germany / Company to build ABS compounding plant in America / Moves support global expansion
Leading South Korean chemical producer LG Chem (Seoul; www.lgchem.com) said it intends to build a technical centre and an ABS compounding plant in the US, and another technical centre in Germany. The company said it would invest about SKW 120 bn (EUR 90m) in the projects, which are all due for completion in 2023.

Commenting on the plans, company president Kug Lae Noh said: “Tech centres will strengthen customer responsiveness through customised technical support optimised to the local market and play a key role in making LG Chem’s strategic product lead the global markets.”

The American Tech Center is to be located in Ravenna, Ohio, and the European Tech Centre is planned for Frankfurt am Main / Germany, with both offering floor space of more than 7,600m3 and various pilot facilities for technical support tailored to customer needs.

Ohio was selected for its “excellent convenience” for logistics and transportation, and its location close to key ABS customers, the company said. It added that the state also has favourable conditions for expanding LG Chem’s position in the North American market. In addition, the project is to receive an 8-year state tax credit worth USD 540,000, as well as a 15-year tax abatement.

Transportation considerations and proximity to customers were said to be the key factors in choosing Frankfurt, home to LG Chem’s European sales operations.

The centres will focus on improving customer technologies for automotive materials and packaging films while also contributing to the expansion of eco-friendly materials and post-consumer recycling. The company said 70 R&D personnel are to be based at the two sites, with plans noting that they will form teams for extrusion, injection moulding, and for each major strategic product.

Once in operation, LG Chem said the centres will complete a global customer support system that extends from South Korea to China, the US and Europe.

A technical centre in Huadong / China is also currently under construction, with operations scheduled to start in 2022. This is expected to complement an existing local facility in Huanan and another in Gyeonggi-do / South Korea.
US compounding plant set for mid-decade start
The ABS compounding plant – to cost about SKW 60 bn – is also planned for Ohio, with capacity cited at 30,000 t/y. It is to produce customised ABS products and primarily focus on batteries for electric vehicles. The plant is expected to create 72 full-time jobs by the end of 2025.

The local supply of ABS in the North American market, which accounts for 10% of LG Chem’s global ABS demand, is much less than the region’s consumption, the company said, adding that demand for the resin continues to rise because of developments in the automotive, construction, and decorative materials industries.

LG Chem said it is also considering construction of an ABS polymerisation plant to respond to its North American customers.

In September, the company revealed its intention to invest SKW 2.6 bn in 10 new plants for environmentally friendly materials by 2028 (see Plasteurope.com of 07.09.2021).
15.12.2021 Plasteurope.com [249188-0]
Published on 15.12.2021
LG Chem: ABS-Technikzentren in Frankfurt und den USAGerman version of this article...

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