Amid global uncertainties and rapidly changing market conditions, Kumho Petrochemical is striving to strengthen its R&D to raise its competitiveness in the global synthetic rubber market. The company is also solidifying its status in the market by reinforcing its relations with global partners and subsidiaries in search of new growth engines.
It plans to commercialize its latest key product Functional-LiBR (F-LiBR), which is an upgraded version of butadiene rubber employing a lithium catalyst. The latest product is expected to increase fuel efficiency from about 20 percent to 40 percent. In response to increasing global demand for NB latex products, Kumho expanded its production facilities last year and has diversified its product lineup. The company recently developed an industrial NB latex (KNL870), which can protect workers' hands from various chemicals.
Kumho's high-performance synthetic rubber SBS, widely used for modifiers that improve the performance of asphalt, waterproof sheets, car parts and plastic modifiers, has secured a stable share in the global market. It was also recognized as a world-class product by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in 2018. Kumho aims to strengthen its 3D NAND Photoresist (PR) division, which is emerging rapidly in the semiconductor chemicals market.
Kumho P&B Chemicals, a chemical subsidy, plans to boost its epoxy resin research after moving its laboratory to Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province. When the phenol-making affiliate has a base in the Seoul metropolitan area, it will boost synergy with the existing Yeosu R&D lab to brace for challenges in production, sales and logistics. Kumho Polychem, Korea's largest EPDM maker which produces materials for automotive parts and window seals, is eying to develop eco-friendly EPDM with a higher intensity and lighter weight.
Source: Daily “The Korea Times”, Seoul; 30 May 2019
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)