SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s major oil refiners plan to invest some 3.5 trillion won (US$3.3 billion) over the next three years to upgrade their facility and diversify their business portfolio, the country’s energy ministry said Friday.
During a meeting with Paik Un-gyu, minister of trade, industry and energy, chief executives of GS Caltex Corp. and other major refiners said their firms are spending big on new business areas, such as electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy.
S-Oil Corp., controlled by Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, has set its eyes on completing its residue upgrading complex and olefin downstream complex in the first half of this year.
The project worth 4.8 trillion won (US$4.4 billion) is designed to convert low-value residue to high-value products: gasoline and olefin downstream products. It can also make propylene oxide, which is the basic raw material of polyurethane that is used in interior materials of automobiles, electronic products and insulators.
SK Innovation Co., South Korea’s top refiner, is also swiftly moving to diversify its portfolio.
The company announced plans to inject 2 trillion won into batteries and chemicals.
SK Innovation has completed a few overseas takeover, including the chemical unit of Dow Chemical and the U.S. company’s global ethylene acrylic acid business for $370 million.
SK Innovation said last year it would invest 1 trillion won to upgrade its plant in Ulsan, 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul.