South Korea's LG Chem Ltd. has selected Ravenna, Ohio, as the site for a new compounding plant and North American tech center.
The project is part of a previously announced 120 billion won ($101 million) project to expand its technical centers in Europe and the United States and build an ABS compounding plant in the United States.
LG Chem had said it would invest around 60 billion won ($50 million) to construct the ABS compounding plant, which will have annual production capacity of 30,000 metric tons.
When Seoul-based LG Chem announced plans for the project on Oct. 11, it said the European tech center would be in Frankfurt, Germany, and that the North American site would be in Ohio, but it did not specify the Ravenna location.
At the time, the company said both tech centers would be three stories high with 7,600 square meters of floor space and that they would employ 70 R&D personnel, including application technology teams such as extrusion processing and injection technology.
Crain's Cleveland Business reported that the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved the Ravenna project on Dec. 6. LG Chem America Inc. said it would create 72 full-time positions, generating $4.7 million in new annual payroll.
The tax credit authority approved an eight-year, 1.594 percent Job Creation Tax Credit for the project. A tax credit authority spokeswoman wrote in an email that the tax credit has an estimated value of $540,000.
The company said it would complete construction and start full-scale operations at both centers and the compounding plant in 2023. It selected Ohio for its logistics and transportation, and because it is close to LG Chem's key ABS customers.
The project in Ravenna includes a new ABS compounding facility, which will be used primarily in the supply chain for EV batteries. In October, LG Chem also said that the American and European tech centers would focus on packaging films, and will also contribute to the expansion of post-consumer recycling technology and related eco-friendly materials and related products.
LG Chem also said it would consider building an ABS polymerization plant to respond to North American customers as the petrochemical business expands in the future.
For now, the ABS compounding plant and tech center "is expected to strengthen intimacy with the customer and serve as a stepping stone for the expansion of the North American business," the company said in the release.
"Tech centers will strengthen customer responsiveness through customized technical support optimized to the local market and play a key role in making LG Chem's strategic product lead the global markets," Kug Lae Noh, president of the petrochemicals company, said in the release. "Starting from the customer's pain point, we will provide differentiated insights to customers, and seek various ways to expand the global business based on this."