“LANXESS does have ambitious investment programs. We are planning to invest $1.4 billion in our major facilities in Asia and we are considering more projects also with South Korean firms,’’ said Axel C. Heitmann, chairman of the board of management at LANXESS, in a recent interview with The Korea Times.
He said the investment amount will be large and stressed more Korean blue-chip firms will be awarded by the upbeat investment program.
Heitmann said LANXESS will expand its business in South Korea by more than double digits in terms of total revenue next year from this one.
LANXESS is estimated to reap some 300 billion won in revenue from South Korea in 2011.
“Growing markets have to be different in the future. We need to increase growth that is more resource and energy efficient. The world needs more new materials. LANXESS is strongly committed to make that happen,’’ said the top executive.
The company is majorly increasing its investment budget this year helped by a heavy spending phase at a new facility in Singapore.
The facility will go on-line from 2013 and the chairman said the firm’s in the process of detailing plans to build cutting-edge rubber-producing factories to manufacture energy-efficient tires for countries in Asia. “Korea is one candidate,’’ said the chairman.
LANXESS and Exxon Mobil are the two main manufacturers of halogenated butyl rubber used to produce radial tires, which are replacing those requiring inner tubes in emerging countries. Russia’s Nizhnekamskneftekhim has also entered that market and Chinese rivals are poised to join them.
The Leverkusen-based LANXESS is keen on the top-end tire market before energy-efficiency labeling, similar to that found on refrigerators, which comes into effect in South Korea from next year.
“It’s not a diplomatic gesture. South Korea is truly an important market for LANXESS. We are constantly looking at expanding business chances in the tire segment.’’
Heitmann was recently in Korea, where compulsory tire labeling is set to be introduced from November 2012.
In preparation before the implementation, the country has already introduced tire labeling on a voluntary basis.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), currently believes that tire labeling is a major part of its overall initiative toward a “greener society’’ and the ministry is aiming for nationwide energy savings of 350,000 tons of oil equivalent, and a greenhouse gas emission reduction of around one million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
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