LG Chem seeks global player status in reverse osmosis membranes

South Korean petrochemicals company LG Chem has unveiled plans to become a global player in the market for reverse osmosis membranes for desalination.

The plan was announced along with its aim to boost sales of engineering plastics as part of a two-track strategy for the business. The company said it wanted to pursue substantial growth in its water treatment filter business through its newly acquired subsidiary, LG NanoH2O.
LG Chem acquired the California-based, reverse osmosis membranes company in March, for US$ 200 million.

“We are planning to overcome the slump in the petrochemical business, which is challenged by low growth in the global economy, the rise of China’s self-sufficiency and the shale gas boom,” the company said in a press release.

Petrochemicals account for more than 75% of LG Chem’s earnings. Last year its second quarter operating profit fell 5.6% year-on-year to KRW 290.9 billion (US$ 283 million) although full year revenue increased