LG Chem announced on Aug. 19 that it put into operation new acrylic acid and SAP production facilities in its plant located in Yeosu City, South Jeolla Province.
The new facilities increased the company’s acrylic acid and SAP production capacities by 160,000 tons and 80,000 tons to 510,000 tons and 360,000 tons, respectively. With their completion, LG Chem became the fifth-largest acrylic acid producer and the fourth-largest SAP producer in the world.
LG Chem had delved into the materials since the 1990s and came up with its own acrylic acid catalyst and production techniques in 2004 for the first time in Korea. At present, only a handful of companies such as BASF, Dow, NSCL, and Mitsubishi have their own processing techniques in this industry.
It was seven years ago that LG Chem set foot in the SAP market. It has concentrated its R&D, production, and marketing resources since then and succeeded in becoming the world’s fourth-largest SAP supplier. The company is capable of producing 80,000 tons of SAP a year per production facility, which is a number exceeding those of its major rivals.
LG Chem is planning to increase its acrylic acid and SAP-related sales by 600 billion won (US$504 million) or so to at least 1.7 trillion won (US$1.4 billion) by 2020. According to industry sources, the global acrylic acid market is expected to grow by an annual average of 5 percent, from 4.9 million tons to 6.7 million tons between last year and 2020. Also, the SAP market is estimated to expand from 2.3 million tons to 3.4 million tons in size based on an annual average growth of 6.5 percent.