South Korean company makes huge investment in U.S.

Four men about to depress buttons on boxes (© Lindsey Janies)
Left to right: Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards; South Korea's Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon; Shin Dong-bin, chairman of Lotte Group; and Harry B. Harris Jr., U.S. ambassador to South Korea, at the dedication event for Lotte Chemical USA's new plant. (© Lindsey Janies)

President Trump on May 13 praised a South Korean corporation’s $3.1 billion stake in a Louisiana chemical plant, calling it the biggest investment in the U.S. from a South Korean company.

Lotte Chemical USA, part of the Seoul-based Lotte Group corporation, celebrated the opening of its headquarters in Louisiana’s Lake Charles area at a formal dedication ceremony May 9.

“This is exactly the type of investment that the United States wants to celebrate, that we want to see more of,” said Trump’s deputy assistant, Sylvia May Davis, who attended the dedication ceremony and read a letter from the president praising the venture.

Lotte Chemical USA’s chief executive, Soon Hyo “Steve” Chung, said his firm selected the Lake Charles area as the site for a state-of-the-art plant due to the region’s existing infrastructure and skilled workforce.

Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin met with Trump at the White House on May 13.

Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards said the joint venture marks an important partnership between the United States and South Korea.

The headquarters joins Lotte’s new monoethylene glycol — or MEG — plant, located in Sulphur near Lake Charles.

The plant is reportedly the largest MEG plant in the United States and represents more than $3 billion in new capital investment in Louisiana.