South Korea's petrochemical producers plan to spend 5.8 trillion won (US$5.2 billion) on the upgrade and expansion of their plants, a trade association said Thursday.
"Thanks to the investment plan, the local petrochemical producers could post record exports of $39.9 billion this year," the Korea Petrochemical Industry Association said in a statement.
Last year, the local petrochemical industry spent 5.7 trillion won in capital expenditures and recorded exports of $35.7 billion, the association said.
On Tuesday, GS Caltex Co., the country's second-largest refiner, announced a 1.1 trillion won investment plan for its fourth heavy-oil cracker. The refiner plans to build the heavy-oil processing plant in Yeosu, 455 kilometers south of Seoul, by 2013.
According to the prediction by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the state-run Korea National Oil Corp., prices of petrochemical products such as naphtha are expected to rise in 2011, fueled by hikes in oil prices and a surge in demand from China.
(C) 2011 Asia Pulse Pte Ltd.