Henkel AG & Co., a German chemical and consumer goods company, has started construction of a new production plant for advanced electronic materials at the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) in Songdo, Incheon City in Korea.
The IFEZ authority said on Oct. 29 that a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Songdo high-tech industrial cluster in the presence of many guests, including IFEZ Commissioner Lee won-jae; German Ambassador to Seoul Stephan Auer; Barbara Zollmann, president of Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Park Hyun-Nam, vice chair of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea; Mark Dorn, president of Henkel Asia-Pacific; and Kim Yu-seok, president of Henkel Korea.
Henkel Korea is a wholly owned subsidiary of Henkel AG & Co. in Germany. Its new high-tech plant for electronic materials will have a floor space of 10,144 square meters. It will be completed by next September and start operation in the first quarter of 2022.
Henkel decided to build the Songdo plant to respond to the growing demand for its products from the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets, where the semiconductor industry is clustered. The facility, as an outpost for exports to Asia and other regions, will play a pivotal role in supplying electronic materials for semiconductor assembly.
The IFEZ authority expects that the Henkel investment will greatly contribute to reinforcing Korea’s competitiveness in core material technology by localizing core technology for advanced electronic materials, as well as to substituting imports while increasing exports.
Henkel set foot in Korea in 1989. It will invest 35 million euros (about 45 billion won) to build the new plant in Songdo, its largest green field investment.
Founded in Germany in 1876, Henkel has been expanding its businesses to include products ranging from household items and industrial materials, conducting business now in 125 countries around the world. It achieved 20 billion euros (25 trillion won) in sales globally as of 2018, and currently has as many as 700 employees in Korea alone.
Henkel holds a broad portfolio of industrial solutions in adhesives, sealants and surface treatments, as well as consumer-friendly brands, including Persil (laundry detergent), Loctite (adhesive), Syoss (shampoo), and Dial (soap). It also focuses on supplying solutions for all sorts of electronic devices, and most of all, it is a provider of adhesive solutions for electronic circuits, LCD panel assembly, mobile phones, semiconductors, and a broad variety of high-tech electronic parts.
Henkel’s new plant is designed as a high-tech smart factory running on a comprehensive building management system (BMS). In addition, it will be built as an environment-friendly facility which is equipped with solar energy panels, a rainwater recycling system, high-efficiency equipment for energy conservation and securing of green land.
IFEZ Commissioner Lee won-jae said at the ceremony, “The new plant will serve as a great boost to IFEZ, which aims at building an industrial ecosystem to become a central city in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Henkel Korea president Kim also said, “This year marks the 30th anniversary for Henkel Korea, and the Songdo plant is the biggest single green field investment since it first landed in the Korean market in 1989.” He also added, “As a world-class solution supplier in the electronic materials area, we plan to provide technological solutions and services that are more related to a variety of customers including manufacturers of semiconductors and mobile phones.”