Kumho Petro expands investment in China
By Cho Mu-hyun
Kumho Petrochemical is expanding its presence in China, the most sought after market in the world.
Park Chan-koo, chairman of Kumho Petrochemical, visited Chongqing Friday to meet with Mayor Huang Qifan and agreed on a joint investment plan to expand Kumho’s chemical business there.
“We were able to finish our factory and finish preparation for commercial production despite the global financial crisis thanks to help from the city of Chongqing,” said Park. “With the completion of the plant, the automobile industry cluster in Chongqing and the economic cooperation between the two countries will be strengthened.”
The Korean firm created a subsidiary based in the Chinese city together with local company Shen Zen His Chemical and started construction for a factory producing insoluble sulfur in 2008.
Insoluble sulfur is used to increase the heat-resistance of rubber. The firm is aiming to produce a total of 40,000 tons annually by 2015, which will bring in yearly revenue of 150 billion won. If the goal is achieved, Kumho will be the second largest producer of insoluble sulfur after American outfit Felxis.
The Chinese office currently employees 180 local workers and the 165-square-meter plant has the capacity to produce 10,000 ton of insoluble sulfur and 30,000 tons of carbon disulfide, used as a non-polar solvent and to produce viscose rayon fibers, annually.
The production and sales of carbon disulfide started last year, while preparations for insoluble sulfur are at the final stages for a trial run.
Chongqing is one of China’s five national central cities and a rising industrial capital manufacturing mainly automobiles and chemicals located in the country’s southwest. According to Kumho, many global firms are investing and developing factories there, and the city is expected to produce 4 million automobiles and at least 10 million motorcycles annually by 2015.