South Korea

Unrivaled Logistics Make Louisiana a Natural Fit for South Korean Companies

Recent investments by South Korean companies Lotte and Dongsung FineTec - combined with long-term investments by the Korea National Oil Corp. and the purchase of local company Smoothie King by Korean investor Wan Kim – have made ties between Korea and Louisiana stronger than ever before. 

Notable South Korean Projects in Louisiana

Lotte Chemical

In December 2015, Axiall Corp. and Lotte Chemical Corp., a company headquartered in South Korea, announced their $3 billion capital investment in two new chemical manufacturing plants in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Combined, the projects will create 215 new direct jobs. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the combined projects will result in 1,892 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 2,100 new jobs in Southwest Louisiana.

Dongsung FineTec

In December 2015, Dongsung FineTec announced a $5 million capital investment in a cryogenic insulation manufacturing facility in Lake Charles. The company will create 250 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $40,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 492 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 742 new jobs for Calcasieu Parish and surrounding areas.

“Among Korean petrochemical companies, Lotte Chemical is the first to locate a project in the United States; as such, this project represents a significant investment by Lotte Chemical.” 

Soo Young Huh
President and CEO, Lotte Chemical

Trade Between South Korea and Louisiana

South Korea is Louisiana’s third-largest export market in Asia, with $777.3 million in Louisiana exports there in 2015. Top Louisiana exports to South Korea include agricultural products ($266.9 million), chemicals ($264.2 million), and beverages and tobacco ($48.6 million).

Supporting Organizations

Honorary Consul: William H. Langenstein, III
1100 Poydras Street, Suite 2300
New Orleans, Louisiana 70163
Tel: (504) 585-7000

Recent News

In January 2014, then-Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal visited South Korea in an effort to cultivate foreign direct investment opportunities and increased trade between Louisiana and South Korea. Gov. Jindal met with numerous South Korean companies and reiterated that South Korea is one of Louisiana’s key markets. To further demonstrate this commitment, Louisiana Economic Development has established two representatives in Seoul who are dedicated to assisting South Korean companies in their U.S. expansion plans.

Lotte Chemical, Axiall Break Ground On $3 Billion Complex In Louisiana
In June 2106, Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne and Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson joined Republic of Korea Ambassador Ahn Ho-young, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and Axiall CEO Tim Mann in breaking ground on a $3 billion chemical manufacturing project in Lake Charles. Learn more here.

Lotte Project Cited as Louisiana Earns 2016 Silver Shovel Award for Economic Development Wins
In June 2016, Area Development magazine awarded Louisiana a 2016 Silver Shovel Award for posting one of the best economic development performances in the U.S. during the past year, based on the state’s most significant economic investments. Louisiana’s projects included two industry announcements with large capital investment and job creation components – Formosa Petrochemical Corporation’s $9.4 billion chemical manufacturing complex in St. James Parish, and a $3 billion ethane cracker and monethylene glycol manufacturing project by Axiall and Lotte Chemical in Lake Charles. Learn more here.