LG Chem and CJ CheilJedang Collaborate on Bio-Polyamide Plant Construction in South Korea
LG Chem and CJ CheilJedang Collaborate on Bio-Polyamide Plant Construction in South Korea

LG Chem and CJ CheilJedang Collaborate on Bio-Polyamide Plant Construction in South Korea

  • 15-Feb-2024 5:29 PM
  • Journalist: Jai Sen

LG Chem and CJ CheilJedang, the parent company of PHA manufacturer CJ Biomaterials, have announced a groundbreaking joint venture aimed at producing and commercializing bio-polyamide, marking a significant stride towards establishing a fully domestic bio-polyamide supply chain in South Korea.

The collaboration between the two companies has been formalized through a Heads of Agreement, a non-binding agreement signalling their commitment to constructing a pentamethylenediamine (PMDA) plant. PMDA, a critical raw material for bio-nylon production, is obtained through the fermentation of crops such as corn and sugarcane.

In this strategic venture, CJ CheilJedang will leverage microbial precision fermentation technology and jointly developed processes to produce PMDA. Simultaneously, LG Chem will assume responsibility for polymerizing the material into bio-nylon and overseeing its sales and distribution.

The driving force behind this joint initiative is the escalating stringency of environmental regulations in Europe and the United States, with a particular focus on the mandatory disclosure of scope 3 carbon emissions. LG Chem has underscored the pivotal role played by the European Council's introduction of new reporting requirements for corporate sustainability in November 2022 in propelling this collaboration. As of 2025, companies operating in Europe, including those with European operations based elsewhere, will be mandated to disclose indirect emissions across their value chain, referred to as scope 3 emissions. These emissions often constitute a significant proportion of an organization's total greenhouse gas emissions.

In anticipation of the anticipated impact of such regulations and the rising importance of Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs), LG Chem envisions an increase in consumer demand for bio-nylon, especially in sectors such as textiles, automotive, and electronics. Industry projections forecast substantial growth in the global bio-nylon market, with volumes expected to surge from 400,000 tonnes in 2023 to a robust 1.4 million tonnes by 2028.

LG Chem's CEO, Hak Cheol Shin, emphasized the monumental significance of the collaboration, characterizing it as a concerted effort between leading companies in their respective domains working towards the common goal of achieving Net Zero. He expressed LG Chem's unwavering commitment to propelling its plastics business forward by incorporating eco-friendly, low-carbon materials. By doing so, the company aims to establish itself as a pioneering force in carbon reduction efforts, aligning with the global push towards sustainability and environmental responsibility.

The joint venture between LG Chem and CJ CheilJedang signifies a crucial step forward not only for the companies involved but also for the broader industry, marking a paradigm shift towards more sustainable and environmentally conscious practices in the production of bio-nylon. As the collaboration progresses, it is expected to contribute significantly to the advancement of South Korea's bio-polyamide capabilities and its positioning as a leader in the burgeoning global bio-nylon market.

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