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SK Chairman Chey vows to turn Ulsan into green energy, AI hub

                                                        SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won (second from left) speaks during the Ulsan Forum, organized by SK and the city of Ulsan to promote regional growth                                                                                          

According to The Korea Economic Daily Global Edition,

Chey Tae-won, chairman of South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate SK Group, has vowed to turn the industrial city of Ulsan, where SK’s largest refinery and chemical complex is located, into the country’s green energy hub.

During the 2023 Ulsan Forum on Thursday, he said SK, through its affiliates, will invest 8 trillion won ($6 billion) in Ulsan to help transform the city into an eco-friendly business hub. He didn’t provide the timeframe for the investment.

“Given climate change, reducing carbon emissions is the most pressing issue for all of us,” he said.

Chey, also chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), a Korean business lobby, said he wants to recycle 100% of plastic for a sound ecosystem.

SK Geo Centric Co., a chemical subsidiary of SK Innovation Co., Korea’s largest refiner, plans to spend more than 2 trillion won to build a massive plastic recycling plant, dubbed Ulsan ARC, in the city, southeast of Seoul.

SK Group’s other eco-friendly projects include SK Energy Co.’s construction of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at the Donghae gas field off the East Sea; and hydrogen fuel cell and liquefied natural gas projects by SK Gas Ltd., SKC Ltd. and SK Chemicals Co.

“Ulsan ARC will be the first step toward achieving our green energy goal,” the chairman said.


At Thursday’s forum, Chey also stressed the need to actively utilize artificial intelligence to enhance Ulsan’s manufacturing competitiveness.

"With the establishment of infrastructure that can harness manufacturing data in Ulsan, the city can transform into a manufacturing and software business hub based on AI technology,” he said.

Ulsan is home to SK’s refinery and chemical complex as well as the manufacturing base for other companies such as Hyundai Motor Co. and HD Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Korea’s largest shipbuilder.

The Ulsan Forum, now in its second year, is a regional forum organized by SK Group in collaboration with the Ulsan Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss various issues facing the local community.

SK Group, which focuses on the battery and energy businesses, has been ramping up investments in green projects to transform into an eco-friendly conglomerate.

Jae-Fu Kim at

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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Source: The Korea Economic Daily Global Edition (Sep. 15, 2023)