KOREA (SOUTH): SK Global Chemical unveils new paraxylene plant in Ulsan

According to SK Global Chemical, the two companies have poured 936.3 billion won (USD 887.4 million) into the new facility for Ulsan Aromatic Corp. based on a 50-50 joint venture. Test operations kicked off in June.

The 460 billion won in funding from JX was the largest foreign direct investment made in Korea to date, officials said. JX is the third-biggest refiner in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Ulsan Aromatic Corp. is the result of a successful joint project between SK and JX. It will play a leading role as a production base for our future global businesses," said Koo Ja-young, vice chairman of SK Innovation, at an unveiling event on 23 Oct. 2014.

SK Global Chemical, wholly owned by SK Group's energy unit SK Innovation, has operated paraxylene production facilities in both Korea and Singapore.

With the new plant, which boasts an annual capacity of 1 million tons of paraxylene and 600,000 tons of benzene, the company said its annual paraxylene output is expected to reach 2.81 million tons ? the largest amount produced by a Korean energy company.

Company officials said that about 95 % of paraxylene and benzene produced at the new plant will be exported overseas, especially to the soaring Chinese market.

Some 300 guests attended the unveiling ceremony. They included SK Innovation's Koo, JX Nippon Oil & Energy chairman Yasushi Kimura, SK Global Chemical president and CEO Cha Hwa-youp and Ulsan City Major Kim Ki-hyun.

Source: Daily "The Korea Herald", Seoul; 23 Oct 2014
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)