As Lotte Chemical Corp. has decided to ramp up its Yeosu facility’s ethylene production capacity by 200,000 tons a year, the company has moved a step closer to achieve its vision of “one of global top 10 total chemical firms.”
Lotte Chemical announced on December 12 that it will invest 300 billion won (US$256.52 million) in its ethylene manufacturing plant to increase its annual production capacity from the current 1 million tons to 1.2 million tons. Once the expansion is completed, the company’s combined ethylene output at domestic facilities including Daesan plant will reach 2.3 million tons, ranking first in terms of production capacity. When including output of its facilities, such as Lotte Chemical Titan plant in Malaysia and the ethane cracker facility in the U.S., Lotte Chemical will also become the seventh largest ethylene producer with 4.5 million ton annual capacity.
The company plans to start expanding its ethylene manufacturing facility in Yeosu in the first half of next year and complete the expansion at the end of 2018. Lotte Chemical expects that the expanded facility will boost its ethylene sales by 500 billion won (US$427.53 million) a year when it enters commercial production in 2019.
With production bases in Central Asia, Southeast Asia and North America as well as South Korea, the company is expected to strengthen its global competitiveness further.
In addition, Lotte Chemical is also considering beefing up its propylene production by 100,000 tons from the current 520,000 tons to 620,000 tons, and establishing a gas turbine power generator that utilizes methane, which increases with the expansion, to enhance power self-sufficiency of its Yeosu facility and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The company said the expanded plant will use propane gas to produce petrochemical products, shifting away from traditional petrochemical feedstock such as naphtha in order to diversify raw materials and stay cost competitive by using ethane from Uzbekistan natural gas and U.S. shale gas.