S. Korean Electronics Giant LG to Invest $7 Billion in

SustainableBusiness.com News

South Korea's electronics giant LG announced it will invest $6.83 billion in green business sectors by 2015.

The conglomerate says the investments - in electric vehicle batteries, LED lighting, solar PV and water treatment technologies - will generate $8.4 billion in revenue, while creating 10,000 green jobs around the world. It will also boost business for about 660 small and midsized enterprises in its supply chain.

About a third of the investment will be in lithium batteries for electric vehicles (by 2013). It's also planning to get into the solar polysilicon business by 2014.

Its LG Chem division says its goal is to be the world's top lithium battery manufacturer, taking a 25% share by 2015. It currently supplies Li batteries for GM's Chevy Volt and Opel Ampera. And it's working with GM on electric vehicle development.

LG Innotek, which makes LEDs, is looking for a 10% global market share. Its vertical manufacturing process makes all the components including chips, modules and packaging. Its flagship company, LG Electronics, will expand solar manufacturing from its current level of 300 megawatts (MW) to 1,000 megawatts by 2014. There too, they expect to be the global leader by 2015. They entered the US solar market in 2010.

In water treatment, LG recently acquired specialist Daewoo ENTEC, allowing it to offer a "total water treatment solution." Through the LG-Hitachi joint venture, the two compaies will collaborate on developing new technologies and services for the huge water treatment market, valued at over $430 billion a year.

"With the market expected to grow at an annual rate of five per cent due to increased pollution and the effects of climate change, we see the water treatment business as a crucial component of LG's future success," says Young-ha, Lee, CEO of LG Electronics Home Appliance Company.

Last year, LG announced it would invest $17.8 billion in green product development to lower greenhouse gas emissions 40% from 2009 levels by 2020.Its competitor, Samsung, is also invest heavily in green with $5 billion in investments by 2013.

South Korea has set an emissions reduction target of 30% by 2020. At the beginning of the worldwide recession, the country was widely praised for allocating about 80% of its stimulus spending toward green-oriented projects.