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Solvay celebrates 40 years of presence in South Korea

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Press release

Seoul, June 22, 2015 --- Solvay is celebrating 40 years of presence in South Korea, which is a key development and growth platform for its research and innovation and for the production of specialty chemicals and high-tech materials in Asia.

Solvay has invested 250 billion wons (200 million euros) over the last 10 years in South Korea where it runs three plants, two Research and Innovation centers, one joint venture as well as the global headquarters of its Global Business Unit Special Chem.

Solvay highly values the potential of South Korea as its outstanding position in high-tech industries and universities, researchers and talented workforce, make it a strategically important market and a very good base to develop our positions in other Asian countries”, said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chief Executive Officer of Solvay, who is visiting the country for this celebration. “During 40 years of presence, Solvay has been able to strengthen and multiply partnerships with South Korea’s global players in electronics and automotive industries. Furthermore, our collaboration with local researchers helps us to fully leverage our global innovation capabilities.

In last April, Solvay launched in the 2nd Industrial Zone of the Saemangeum Industrial Complex in Gunsan the construction of its Highly Dispersible Silica (HDS) production plant with an annual capacity of more than 80 000 tons, to address growing demand in Asia for energy saving tires and to develop innovative HDS grades. The plant will produce the latest and most advanced grades of high performance silica including Efficium®for energy saving passenger car and truck tire compounds. The plant which is expected to be operational in October 2016 will be equipped with Solvay’s most up-to-date innovative processing technologies, introducing 3rd generation processing technologies.  

Last year, Solvay opened its new Research & Innovation (R&I) center at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, putting the Group in a prime position to work closely with key Asian customers and universities. Joint research between Solvay and Ewha aims at developing materials for the high-growth, high value-added markets of lithium-ion batteries to enable clean energy storage, and the development of new materials that reduce energy use of cars. It also harbors Solvay’s new electronics laboratory to develop Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) display and lighting technologies.

In addition, Solvay supports students with internships and scholarships worth 5.5 billion wons (3.8 million euros) over 5 years. According to Choi Kyunghee, President of Ewha Womans University, “the simple fact that we are collaborating with Solvay motivates our students. It also gives our female chemistry graduates the opportunity to gain experience, not only in Korea and Asia, but on a global level in one of Solvay’s research centers around the world.”

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As an international chemical group, SOLVAY assists industries in finding and implementing ever more responsible and value-creating solutions. Solvay generates 90% of its net sales in activities where it is among the world's top three players. It serves many markets, varying from energy and the environment to automotive and aeronautics or electricity and electronics, with one goal: to raise the performance of its clients and improve society's quality of life. The group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 26,000 people in 52 countries and generated 10.2 billion euros in net sales in 2014. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on EURONEXT Brussels and EURONEXT Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB:BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR).