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LG Chem, Eni Consider Biorefinery in South Korea

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

LG Chem and Eni Sustainable Mobility have announced that they are exploring the possibility to develop and operate a new biorefinery at LG Chem’s Daesan chemical complex, 80 km southwest of Seoul, South Korea.

Together, the companies are examining the technical and economic feasibilities for the proposed project. Final decision for the investment is scheduled by 2024 and the plant will be completed by 2026 at the existing integrated petrochemical complex in Daesan, Korea. The new biorefinery will leverage LG Chem’s integrated value chain as well as the existing utilities and facilities of the industrial site.

The potential biorefinery aims to meet the growing demand for more sustainable fuels and plastics produced by low-carbon processes, as well as to help progressively decarbonize the energy and mobility sector. It is designed to process approximately 400,000 tonnes of bio-feedstocks annually using Eni's Ecofining process, developed in collaboration with Honeywell UOP. It will also have the flexibility to process renewable bio-feedstocks and produce multiple products including Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), and bio-naphtha.

LG Chem has been manufacturing eco-friendly plastics using bio-naphtha since 2020. In April 2021, it became the first South Korean chemical company to receive ISCC Plus certification for nine Bio-Circular Balanced products. Four months later, LG Chem started shipping its first mass balance SAP (super absorbent polymer) products — also certified with ISCC Plus — to overseas markets. In October 2022, LG Chem expanded its ISCC Plus certified eco-certified product portfolio to over 50 products, reaffirming its ever-growing commitment to sustainability. LG Chem will now work closely with Eni to increase the visibility of its eco-friendly integrated brand LETZero.

Leveraging on its worldwide footprint and knowledge in supplying, Eni will provide the South Korean biorefinery with sustainable feedstock mainly based on waste and residues from the processing of vegetable oils, used cooking oil, and also vegetable oils from drought-resistant crops in degraded, semi-arid, or abandoned soils not in competition with the food chain.

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