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Japan's Toray Industries Inc. and its South Korean unit will invest 300 billion won (US$280 million) in South Korea to build a plant capable of producing cutting-edge plastics used in electric cars and aircraft, a top company official said Monday.
Lee Young-kwan, chairman of Toray Advanced Materials Korea Inc., the local unit of the Japanese chemical firm, said his company plans to break ground in December for a new plant in Saemangeum, a massive reclaimed area on the southwest coast.
Japan's Toray Industries will invest 86 billion won, while its Korean unit will spend the rest in building the plant, according to Toray Advanced Materials Korea.
The announcement marked the latest investment to Saemangeum, about 270 kilometers southwest of Seoul.
Toray Advanced Materials Korea plans to produce 8,600 tons of polyphenylene sulfide resin, types of cutting-edge plastics, at its plant in Saemangeum, beginning in 2015, Lee said.
Lee said his company will increase its annual production capacity of the engineering plastic to 17,000 tons by 2018 as it seeks to further boost its export to China.
Lee said Saemangeum beat its rivals in Malaysia and Thailand due to what he calls a "perfect" infrastructure and its geographical proximity to China.
"The Chinese market would become Toray's front yard," Lee said in a news conference at a Seoul hotel, citing benefits of a possible free trade deal between South Korea and China in coming years. He also said his company plans to ship about 80 percent of cutting-edge plastics to China.
South Korea seeks to transform Saemangeum, about 7 times the size of Manhattan, into an eco-friendly waterfront city with high-end industrial, tourism and agricultural facilities, as well as science and research institutes.
Source: Yonhap News (Oct. 7, 2013)