LG Chem to Invest $455 Million in First Polysilicon Plant

LG Chem Ltd., South Korea’s biggest chemicals maker, said it plans to spend 491 billion won ($455 million) to build its first polysilicon plant to move into the world’s “fast-growing” solar energy market.

The facility in Yeosu will be able to produce 5,000 metric tons a year of polysilicon, used in solar cells, when construction is completed by the end of 2013, the Seoul-based company said today in a regulatory filing.

LG Chem’s board approved the construction plan today, according to the filing.

Chief Executive Officer Kim Bahn Suk told investors in Seoul on April 19 the company was preparing to move into the polysilicon market with its own technology as it was confident it could compete with existing players at low cost.

In Korea, OCI Co., Woongjin Polysilicon Co., Hankook Silicon Co. and KCC Corp. are operating polysilicon plants. Hanwha Chem Corp. announced a plan in April to build one.

LG Chem dropped 2.3 percent to 519,000 won in Seoul trading today, paring its advance to 33 percent this year. Korea’s benchmark Kospi stock index has risen about 3 percent during the period.

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