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Samyang Innochem Becomes Korea’s First to Build Production Factory for Eco-friendly White Biomaterial Isosorbide Print
Affiliates Samyang Innochem Writer administrator Hits 438 Date 2022.11.24

- First in Korea and second in the world for isosorbide production line (23,140 m2 in Gunsan Free Trade Zone)

- Isosorbide, with ability to replace conventional materials originating from petroleum, can be used to produce plastics and paints...

- Factory with production annual capacity of 15,000 tons and plans to make expansions to boost the capacity to 30,000 to 40,000 tons

- CEO Kang Ho-sung, “Samyang Innochem will realize ESG management by venturing into the growing white biomaterial market and contributing to the emission of carbon that originates from producing plastic”


▲ On the 16th, Samyang Innochem held a ceremony celebrating the completion of its commercialized isosorbide production factory in Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do. (From left) Samyang Innochem CEO Kang Ho-sung; Gunsan Tax Office Superintendent Choi I-hwan; Samyang Packaging’s Vice Chairman Kim Jeong; Samyang Group’s Vice President Kim Ryang; Gunsan Mayor Kang Im-joon; Jeollabuk-do Governor Kim Gwan-yeong; Samyang Holdings Chairman Kim Yoon; MOTIE Innovative Industry Growth Director Hwang Soo-seong; Samyang Group Vice Chariman Kim Won; MOF Gunsan Regional Office Director-General Kim Hae-gi; Samyang Holdings CEO Eom Tae-woong; and MOEL Gunsan Office Director-General Shin Dong-hee.




Samyang Group kicked off its ESG business operation by becoming Korea’s first to build a production factory for eco-friendly white biomaterial* isosorbide, which is produced through the utilization of plant resources.


Samyang Innochem (CEO Kang Ho-sung), Samyang Group's chemical subsidiary, announced that the corporation held its construction completion ceremony for the isosorbide production factory (product name: NOVASORB®). Around 130 stakeholders participated in the event, including Samyang Holdings Chairman Kim Yoon, Jeollabuk-do Governor Kim Gwan-yeong, and Gunsan Mayor Kang Im-joon.


▲ Aerial view of Samyang Innochem’s isosorbide production factory


Isosorbide is a white biomaterial produced through the chemical processing of starch extracted from plants such as corn and used to produce plastics and paints as a substitute for conventional chemical materials such as BPA (bisphenol A). Plastics made from isosorbide not only contribute to the reduction of carbon emission by being environment-friendly, but they can also be utilized in various forms through their excellent durability and heat resistance, which include food containers, interior and exterior automobile materials, and exterior materials of electronic devices.


The size of Samyang Innochem’s isosorbide factory, located in Gunsan’s Free Trade Zone, is around 23,140 m2, with the commencement of its construction in 2020 and commercialized production starting in February this year after finalizing mechanical facilities. The factory’s current annual production capacity is around 15,000 tons, and it is planned to be increased to 30,000–40,000 tons by enhancing facility efficiency and investment for additional construction.


The only businesses that can produce isosorbide at a commercialized level are Samyang Innochem and Roquette, whose headquarters is located in France, making the former the only one capable of producing the chemical in Korea. Samyang Innochem’s strategy is to expand its global market supply as well as its position in the domestic market through the construction of the factory, which will lead to the corporation’s consistent growth of its eco-friendly business sales share in overseas markets.


In the event celebrating the factory’s completion, Samyang Holdings’ Chairman Kim Yoon stated, “We have experienced many hardships in the development and research of isosorbide, but our eco-friendly white biomaterial business was an indispensable move for us. I am very happy and grateful because we now have a factory of a large scale to mass-produce environment-friendly material based on biomass after its development.” He also stated, “we will strive to expand our isosorbide factory to keep up with the white biomaterial market’s growth, contributing to the vitalization of the regional economy as well as the creation of a low-carbon industrial ecosystem.”


Samyang Innochem’s CEO Kang Ho-sung stated, “Being eco-friendly is more than just following a trend; it is a prerequisite for sustainable business management and future growth. We will also put our best effort into developing environment-friendly materials with isosorbide to be a pioneer of the newly rising white biomaterial market and realize our ESG management that will bring aid to reducing carbon emission from plastics.”


Meanwhile in last July, as a part of the company’s expansion of its eco-friendly business, Samyang Innochem signed an MOU for R&D cooperation on biomaterials with Kukdo Chemical, one of the global leading epoxy companies, to jointly develop and commercialize isosorbide-based biodegradable epoxy, coating materials, adhesives, and paints. Also, in last April, Samyang Group was selected as the project leader for a biomass-derived biodegradable polycarbonates (PCs) and automotive parts development project supervised by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, so it has worked on the development of biomass-based PCs and wide application for automotive parts. 



▲ Samyang Innochem’s eco-friendly white biomaterial isosorbide

▲ Samyang Innochem’s eco-friendly white biomaterial isosorbide (left) and eco-friendly containers made using isosorbide (right)


*White biomaterial

Refers to the technology that produces chemical products or biofuels by utilizing reusable plant resources such as sweet corns, beans, and wood. White biomaterials, along with red biomaterials (related to medical products and treatment), and green biomaterials (related to environmental control) constitute the three major areas of the bioindustry.

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