Lotte Group, South Korea’s retail-to-chemicals conglomerate, has been accelerating its move to tap deeper into the United States, the world‘s largest economy, with its cumulative investments reaching some $4 billion in production facilities and other areas, industry sources said on May 14.
In its latest investment, Lotte Chemical completed the construction of the $3.1 billion ethylene plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Lotte owns an 88 percent stake in the project, with local partner Westlake Chemical investing in the remaining stake in the plant, which produces 1 million tons of ethylene annually.
Lotte’s investment in the plant marks the second largest by a South Korean company and helps elevate Lotte’s standing in global ethylene output rankings to seventh.
The plant is one of the biggest investments made since US President Donald Trump took office in early 2017. Trump hailed Lotte’s investment as a testament to the strength of the alliance between Seoul and Washington.
President Trump met with Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin at the White House to thank him for Lotte’s massive investment there.
“Great to welcome Chairman Shin from Lotte Group to the WH,” Trump tweeted, together with a photo of himself and Shin’s delegation at the Oval Office.
Lotte said the group may further expand investments in the US not only to promote economic ties between the two countries but also to share technology and know-how in a variety of business sectors.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)