SK geo centric (SKGC; Seoul, South Korea) has signed an agreement with Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical (STL) to build an Ethylene Acrylic Acid (EAA) manufacturing plant in Lianyungang, Jiangsu, China, expecting it to be completed by 2028.
Last August, SKGC signed an establishment and investment agreement with STL to form a joint venture to build the global EAA Plant 3. Now, the company plans to push forward with the establishment of the EAA Plant 4. Plant 3 is currently undergoing Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) and is expected to be completed by 2025. Plant 4 is planned to begin construction in the second half of next year with a $40 billion investment and commence commercial production in 2028, with a targeted annual production capacity of 50,000 tons.
With the completion of the EAA Plant 4, SKGC’s global production capacity for EAA will increase to 140,000 tons per year, allowing the company to preemptively capture the Asian market. By taking over Dow Chemical Company’s EAA business in 2017, it has been operating manufacturing plants in Texas, the U.S., and Tarragona, Spain.
EAA is a type of high-performance adhesive copolymer resin produced by only three to four global chemical companies. It has excellent bonding performance for dissimilar materials such as metals and plastics, or paper and plastics. SK Geo Centric is the only company capable of commercial production of High Acid EAA, a high-quality product grade that exhibits outstanding adhesive performance.
Furthermore, EAA is becoming increasingly useful in various industries due to its excellent performance, including sterilized packs and vacuum packing for meat products, golf balls, and tempered glass. One particular benefit of EAA is its ability to replace existing plastic materials used for paper-coating, resulting in reduced plastic usage, which is expected to generate more demand from the market in the future.
“We are expecting that this construction agreement for the new EAA plant will enable SKGC to preemptively respond to global demand,” said CEO of SKGC Na Kyung-soo. We will secure world-class competitiveness in producing high value-added chemical materials by enabling the early commercial production of the plant, and actively expand our product portfolio as well,” CEO Na added.