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By Kim Seung-yeon
SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- Lotte Chemical Corp. said Thursday it will spend a total of 10 trillion won (US$7.85 billion) by 2030 to boost its hydrogen and battery businesses as it ramps up the push for a green energy transition.
The announcement follows a broader plan unveiled in March, in which it rolled out an ambitious goal of achieving 50 trillion won in overall sales by 2030, a 180-percent hike from its 2021 sales, with a focus on hydrogen energy, battery materials and plastic recycling.
Of the 10 trillion won, the company plans to spend 6 trillion won for hydrogen, with an aim to generate 5 trillion won in revenue and have 1.2 million tons of production capacity by 2030, the petrochemical unit of South Korea conglomerate Lotte Group said.
The remaining 4 trillion won will go to the battery component business, primarily the key four materials for lithium ion batteries -- cathode, anode, electrolyte and separator -- with the revenue target of 5 trillion won by 2030, according to the company.
Lotte plans to open a battery materials subsidiary in the United States in the first half of this year as it taps fresh opportunities in the fast-growing battery market in America amid an electrification drive in the automobile industry being pushed for by the Joe Biden administration.
"Many South Korean companies are investing in America to build battery factories, but there are few firms that can supply battery materials to them on a large scale," Kim Gyo-hyun, CEO and vice chairperson of Lotte Chemical, said at a press conference.
"We are speeding up the plan, as the battery materials need to be supplied in the U.S. in 2024-25 at the latest," Kim added.
Lotte will spend 60 percent of the 4 trillion won for the U.S. business, which will be used to build a battery components factory.
Lotte Chemical will also boost the petrochemical sales to 20 trillion won from 11 trillion won in 2021 and advanced materials sales to 18 trillion won from last year's 7 trillion won.
It will also invest 1 trillion won for recycling and biodegradable plastics to increase the production to over 1 million tons.
"We will push for an expansion in petrochemical, high value-added specialty business and overhaul the portfolio to expand hydrogen energy, battery materials and other eco-friendly businesses," Kim said.
"We intend to achieve the carbon emission cuts by increasing the use of carbon capture technology and introducing more renewable energy," he said.
Since its founding in 1976, Lotte Chemical has been engaged in the production of synthetic resins and other chemical products used for a wide range of industrial materials, such as architecture, interior design, home appliances and IT devices.
The company has been ramping up the diversification strategy toward green energy business to meet growing global demand for sustainable growth and carbon emission reduction.
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