SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Energy, South Korea’s leading oil refinery and gas station operator, said Friday it has invested 76 billion won (US$64 million) in a joint venture (JV) with a Chinese company to tap into the neighboring country’s asphalt market.
SK Energy and Zhejiang Baoying Group set up a 49:51 joint company in Hangzhou to expand into China, the world’s biggest asphalt market, the company said in a statement. SK Energy holds a 49 percent stake in the JV.
Through the Zhejiang SK Energy Baoying Goup, the South Korean company aims to supply 2 million tons of asphalt by 2023, up from the current 1 million tons a year, and further expand it to 3 million tons by 2029, the statement said.
China accounts for 30 percent of the world’s 100 million-ton asphalt market and the Chinese asphalt market is expected to grow by an average of 3 percent annually, it said.
SK Energy said it plans to list the Chinese JV on the Chinese stock market to compete with China’s state-run China Petroleum & Chemical Co. and China National Petroleum Corp.
SK Energy is wholly owned by SK Innovation Co., South Korea’s biggest refiner by sales.