Hyundai Oilbank vows to go ahead with HPC project despite pandemic

By Lim Chang-won Posted : April 23, 2020, 09:24 Updated : April 23, 2020, 09:24

[Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- A coronavirus pandemic sparked a gloomy outlook for refining and petrochemical industries, but Hyundai Oilbank, a refining unit of South Korea's Hyundai shipbuilding group, is firm in its will to diversity its business portfolio and step up the pace of investment in a petrochemical project.

Through their joint venture, Hyundai Chemical Corp., Hyundai Oilbank and Lotte Chemical are building a heavy feed‑based petrochemical complex (HPC) in Daesan, 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Seoul. With a combined investment of 2.7 trillion won ($2.18 billion), the joint venture plant aims to produce 750,000 tons of polyolefins and 400,000 tons of olefins a year.

HPC is a facility that produces petrochemical products, including raw materials for plastic synthetic rubber, using heavy crude oil. It is more cost-effective than the naphtha cracking center (NCC), which produces basic petrochemicals such as ethylene and propylene by cracking naphtha.

"We plan to complete mechanical completion in the second half of this year and start commercial operations in the second half of next year," Hyundai Oilbank CEO Kang Dal-ho told Aju Business Daily at a business meeting on April 22. "It's going well as originally planned."

However, Kang reserved any premature judgment on how to deal with a sagging global market hit hard by a COVID-19 pandemic. President Moon Jae-in unveiled a relief package worth 40 trillion won on April 22 to inject liquidity into key industries.
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