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Construction material

Lotte Chem eyes global EOA leadership with capacity expansion

Apr 27, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Lotte Chemical's new EOA plant constructed in January
Lotte Chemical's new EOA plant constructed in January

Lotte Chemical Corp. plans to further expand the production line for ethylene oxide adduct (EOA), a specialty material used in the construction industry, with aims to take over the global market leadership held by a Chinese maker. 

EOA is an ingredient for the concrete water-reducing agent, which reduces water usage by 30% and allows long-distance transportation of concrete while keeping its fluidity.

In an interview last week, Lotte Chemical’s Yeosu Factory Managing Director Park Soo-sung said that the company is currently reviewing the “location, plant size and investment amount regarding an additional capacity expansion.”

The company had already completed the expansion of EOA production facilities in January this year, adding an annual capacity of 100,000 tons from its previous capacity of 230,000 tons.

While Lotte Chemical is Korea’s largest EOA manufacturer, it globally ranks second behind China’s Aoke Chemical with an annual capacity of 600,000 tons.  

Lotte Chemical explained that the extra expansion will address the growing demand fueled by the global construction boom and close the capacity gap with the Chinese company.

“China’s Aoke distributes the vast majority of its EOA volume within the domestic market, while 70% of our production is exported to more than 40 countries including Turkey, India and the US,” said a Lotte Chemical spokesman.

The company says that its EOA is suitable for long-term storage and overseas export, as it solidifies the liquid EOA into rice grain-sized granules. Moreover, Lotte’s EOA does not contain widely used toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, making it a more eco-friendly option than competitor products.

“EOA is a high-value specialty material expected to see higher global demand. We will enhance our EOA competitiveness by developing a streamlined production system that incorporates raw chemical ingredients as well as final chemical products,” said Hwang Jin-goo, Lotte Chemical’s CEO of Basic Materials Division.

Write to Hyung-kyu Kim at khk@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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