South Korean petrochemical firms plan investments
South Korea's petrochemical producers plan to spend won 5.8 tn ($ 5.2 bn) on the upgrade and expansion of their plants, a trade association said.
"Thanks to the investment plan, the local petrochemical producers could post record exports of $ 39.9 bn this year," the Korea Petrochemical Industry Association said.
Last year, the local petrochemical industry spent won 5.7 tn in capital expenditures and recorded exports of $ 35.7 bn, the association said.
GS Caltex, the country's second-largest refiner, announced a won 1.1 tn investment plan for its fourth heavy-oil cracker. The refiner plans to build the heavy-oil processing plant in Yeosu, 455 km south of Seoul, by 2013.
According to the prediction by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the state-run Korea National Oil Corp., prices of petrochemical products such as naphtha are expected to rise in 2011, fueled by hikes in oil prices and a surge in demand from China.