LG Electronics to develop membrane water treatment business

South Korea’s LG Electronics (LG), better known for TVs and other electronic goods, is seeking staff and partners in advanced membrane technology to help it build a global water treatment business.

The company announced on 16 February 2010 that it would invest more than US$ 400 million over the next decade in building a water treatment business with the goal of generating US$ 7 billion in revenue by 2020, in the process becoming a top 10 global water treatment company.

LG will concentrate its R&D on developing an advanced membrane filtration system, its core technology and key component of water treatment solutions. LG will also expand its internal capabilities with the additional hiring of membrane filtration experts and process engineers.

The company will also be pursuing various types of partnerships, mergers and acquisitions as part of its strategy to expand quickly. Much of the investment will go toward acquiring the right technology and building up research and development in this field.

 “Water affects every aspect of our lives, yet almost one billion people around the world don’t have clean drinking water and more than 2.5 billion still lack the most basic sanitation,” said Young-ha Lee, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Home Appliance Company. “LG hopes to be able to make a small but significant contribution to alleviating this global problem with its commitment to finding solutions through innovation and technology.”

LG will begin with industrial water treatment and expand its coverage into sewage and drinking water treatment. The company eventually plans to enter the business of water treatment engineering and procurement as well as operation and maintenance across the municipal sector.

”The global water crisis isn’t going to go away by itself – governments, citizens and corporations will all have to work closely together,” said Mr. Lee. “The water business has been growing by an annual rate of 15 percent so there’s an incentive for companies to invest in finding solutions, but beyond the business, I think this is one problem where LG’s experience and commitment to finding sustainable solutions will be a huge advantage.”