South Korea’s Hanwha Chemical Corp. will ramp up its caustic soda production amid surge in international prices due to tight supply.
The chemical manufacturer said Friday it will start producing 130,000 tons of caustic supplies from new production lines in the company’s Yeosu plant, on southern coast of the country, from March. Caustic soda, which is used to make soap and detergent, was cited by the Korean government as an area that needs to be scaled down because of loss in competitiveness.
But fortunes have changed recently. The international price of the caustic soda has jumped 46 percent over a year to $430, highest since October 2012 because China and elsewhere cut down production.
The company last year sold its chlorine and caustic soda production plants, located in southeastern coastal city Ulsan, to Unid Co. to eliminate excess capacity. The Ulsan plant was capable of producing 200,000 tons of caustic soda a year but the company judges the new production plant will be more efficient in production.
Hanwha Chemical with annual production capacity of 899,000 ton is responsible for 48 percent of domestic caustic soda supply.
Shares of Hanwha Chemical closed Friday at 26,900 won ($23.53), down 250 won or 0.92 percent.
By Jung Wook
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]