SK Geo Centric and SABIC make new investment to boost polyolefin elastomer production

By Lim Chang-won Posted : August 23, 2022, 11:39 Updated : August 23, 2022, 18:01

[Courtesy of SK Geo Centric]

SEOUL -- A joint venture between SK Geo Centric, a chemical company in South Korea, and SABIC, a Saudi chemical manufacturing company, will boost the production of polyolefin elastomer through additional investments to preemptively respond to a surge in demand for high-value eco-friendly materials in finished cars and solar power.

SK Geo Centric (SKGC) said that the joint venture named "SABIC SK Nexlene Company (SSNC)" would invest some 200 billion won ($149 million) to build a new production line by July 2024 at the polyethylene plant of its subsidiary, Nexlene Korea, in the southeastern industrial city of Ulsan. The plant produces polyolefin elastomers (POE), polyolefin plastomers (POP), metallocene linear low-density polyethylene (MLLDPE).

POEs offer unique performance capabilities for compounded products and are used in automotive exteriors and interiors, wire and cable coatings, films, medical products, adhesives, footwear and foams. POPs are a range of copolymers based on metallocene catalysis utilizing butene or octene comonomers. Key characteristics of POPs are their low hardness, low density and high impact and toughness. MLLDPE resins are suited for high-performance film applications.

Compared to general polyethylene products, SKGC said that ethylene co-polymers produced at the joint venture plant have excellent hygiene, transparency and strength, along with an excellent density range. "We are pleased that investment in expansion has begun to lead the global supply of high-value-added products," Nexlene Korea CEO Kim Jong-il said in a statement on August 23. 

With its new investment, the plant in Ulsan would boost the annual production of ethylene co-polymers from 210,000 tons to 300,000 tons.
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