Lotte Chemical, one of the nation’s top petrochemical companies, is focused on field management, with the goal of setting a milestone ― surpassing 3 trillion won in operating profit.
In particular, Lotte Chemical President Kim Gyo-hyun is accelerating efforts to ramp up partnerships with global customer companies and cooperative firms and give words of encouragement to the staff of its overseas operations, despite a management vacuum caused by Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin’s absence.
Lotte Chemical, which saw the 2017 operating profit fall short of 3 trillion won, is determined to solidify the No. 1 position among Korean petrochemical companies by surpassing the milestone in operating profit.
President Kim made a week-long tour starting March 23 to the site of an ethane cracker plant now being built in Louisiana, the United States, into which the company has poured about 3 trillion won. The plant is to be dedicated late this year.
Kim, who made an observation tour there last July, revisited the site to lend an ear to the voices of the filed in celebration of one year since he took office as president of the petrochemical company. If the ethane cracker plant is dedicated, Lotte Chemical will be able to reduce its dependence on the conventional material naphtha. It is expected to help the petrochemical company ramp up its global competitive edge by diversifying raw materials, production centers and product supply areas.
If the U.S. ethane cracker plant is to go into a commercial service, Lotte Chemical is forecast to earn $1.5 billion or 1.599 trillion won in annual sales. Lotte Chemical’s annual ethylene production capacity now stands at 3.32 million tons. The expansion of the Yeosu plant and LC Titan plant and the new U.S. ethane cracker plant will bring to 4.5 million tons the petrochemical company’s combined capacity, allowing it to rank 1st in Asia and seventh in the world.
“The dedication of the U.S. ethane cracker plant will serve as an opportunity to make the Korean petrochemical industry’s standing known to the world,” President Kim said.
President Kim has a reputation for carrying out his field management. Kim, CEO of a petrochemical company which operates a plant on each of the nation’s top three petrochemical industrial complexes, is concentrating on checking the plants.
He toured the plants in February to educate workers on their safety and lectured executives and staff on their awareness of safety and the environment.
Lotte Chemical chalked up 15.874 trillion won in sales in 2017, a YoY 20 percent surge. The petrochemical company logged 2.929 trillion won in profit, a 15.1 percent jump, to rank first in Korea, outrunning LG Chemical for the second straight year.
Lotte Chemical’s outstanding performance is owed to the company’s preemptive steps to make investments to prepare for the advent of the petrochemical “super cycle” for a long-term boom, which started in 2016, industry analysts said.
President Kim’s widening of the scope of activities is to overcome a management vacuum caused by Group Chairman Shin’s absence. President Kim is trying to catch up with global trends so the company is not to be left behind by competition with rivals amid the management vacuum, they said.
President Kim is to visit China to participate in the Chinaplas 2018, the 32nd International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries, slated for April 24 through April 28 in Shanghai. His visit is designed to explore new customer companies and look into new technologies and the global trends of the petrochemical industry during the exhibition, which will attract about 3,400 companies from some 40 countries across the world.
He plans to strengthen Lotte Chemical’s brand and its standing as a leading global integrated chemical company to global companies with production centers in China.