MOSCOW (MRC) -- LG Chem says it will establish a "global standard" for environmental safety and expand it to the company's business sites worldwide. LG Chem has also announced that it will reestablish its environmental safety standards for all its business sites globally and considerably strengthen its management system, said Chemweek.
LG Chem says that it is currently activating its M-Project, a large-scale safety initiative involving in-company environmental safety and process technology experts, as well as external agencies specialized in related fields, with the goal of achieving zero major environmental and safety accidents from 2021. The decision to execute the project followed the company's announcement in May that it would carry out safety inspections at all its sites worldwide following recent accidents in India and South Korea.
The company says that the new safety standards that will be applied to all its business sites around the world will be of “highest levels, while going beyond simply complying with local laws and regulations but managing it at global standards."
The company says that it has completed emergency diagnoses on high-risk processes and equipment at its 37 business sites—15 in South Korea and 22 overseas—and come up with a total of 590 cases for improvement. It is also investing a total of 81 billion South Korean won (USD5 billion) in environmental safety measures in 2020 to take immediate action for the necessary improvements detected during the inspections. In addition, about W235 billion will be invested every year by the company in environmental safety.
LG Chem aims to focus on developing technologies to identify signs of accidents in advance, using big data. Pilot facilities have been constructed at the company's Yeosu and Daesan, South Korea, petrochemical complexes to test digital transformation technologies. LG Chem plans to expand these applications to its other business sites and plants by next year.
LG Chem will also centralize the management of its budget and investments for environmental safety from each of its subsidiaries to a corporate environmental safety organization by the end of this year. There are also plans to restructure the handling of environmental safety across the company to strengthen the prevention of accidents, it adds.
"We have been focused on creating a fundamental countermeasure with the belief that there will be no future for us if we fail to ensure environmental safety,” says LG Chem CEO Hak-Cheol Shin. “We will focus all our energies on systemizing highly intense environmental-safety policies that we prepared with the mindset that we will not operate unless safe."
We remind that LG Chem, a South Korean petrochemical major, reduced its operational rates of its cracker to around 90-95% starting January 2020 due to weaker economic fundamentals. Based in Daesan, South Korea, the cracker is able to produce 1.27 million tons/year of ethylene and 650,000 tons/year of propylene. The company increased capacity utilisation at this cracker to 100% on 10 March, 2020, in order to supply ethylene to Lotte Chemical.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.