Hyosung TNC Invests 1 Billion in Future “Bio” Business

SEOUL, South Korea, April 1, 2024  — Hyun-Joon Cho, chairman of Hyosung announces major investment in the bio business, embarking on future new business ventures.

Hyosung TNC to Invest $1 Billion in Vietnam, Establishing a 200,000 Tons-a-Year Bio-BDO Plant

On March 30th, Hyosung TNC received investment approval for the “Hyosung BDO Project” from the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Provincial Government at the “Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province Vision Declaration and Investment Approval Ceremony” held in Phu My 2 Industrial Park in southern Vietnam.

Hyosung TNC plans to proactively respond to the global materials market’s reorganization around sustainable products by investing $1 billion to establish multiple Bio-BDO production plants capable of producing 200,000 tons annually.

BDO (Butanediol) is a chemical used as a raw material for PTMG, which is used to make spandex fiber. In addition to spandex (PTMG) fiber, BDO applications have expanded to include engineering plastics, biodegradable packaging, footwear soles, industrial compounds, and many other industries.

Bio-BDO is manufactured by fermenting sugars derived from sugarcane, replacing traditional fossil raw materials such as coal by 100%. It is expected to attract significant attention in the sustainable materials market.

Geno’s proven technology enables Hyosung TNC to fast track their project and unlocks the production and selling of Bio-BDO with an annual capacity of 50,000 tons in the first half of 2026.

From Raw Material to Fiber, Hyosung TNC Establishes the World’s First Fully-Integrated Production System for Bio-Spandex

With this investment, Hyosung TNC has secured the largest bio-spandex factory in Vietnam. Notably, it is the first in the world to establish a vertically integrated production system for bio-spandex, from raw material to fiber.

Hyosung TNC will produce Bio-BDO at its factory in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, manufacture PTMG at a nearby factory in Dong Nai, in the south of Ho Chi Minh City, and then use this to mass-produce regen™ BIO spandex at the Dong Nai Spandex factory.

The integrated production system for bio-spandex is optimized for customers in the global sustainable textiles market, including brands and retailers in Asia, Europe, and the United States. This system enhances production efficiency through a stable raw material supply and allows for swift responses to market needs by speeding up production system operations. Additionally, it ensures cost competitiveness through reduced transportation costs and alleviates environmental impact by saving the fuel used for transportation.

Powered by Geno, The Sustainable Source™ and the GENO™ BDO™ technology, accelerating the Materials Transition in partnership with Geno’s already proven commercial scale technology

Hyosung TNC recently formed a technology partnership with Geno, a US sustainable materials and technology leader, whereby it has taken licenses to the GENO™ BDO technology.

Geno is a biotechnology leader in the Materials Transition and their technology enables greater supply chain resilience, performance, and sustainability impact for many of the world’s largest brands and suppliers. For more than two decades, Geno has been scaling technology to enable the production of sustainable materials derived from plant- or waste-based feedstocks instead of fossil fuels. They have already commercialized sustainable alternatives to commonly used ingredients and materials across several industries including beauty, apparel, automotive, and home care including Lululemon, Unilever, Kao, and L’Oréal.

Geno BDO™ technology was commercialized in 2016. Since then, Geno has continued to scale its technology across EU, US, and now Asia markets. This fully proven and transformative process technology offers an estimated 90% carbon avoidance (which is the order of magnitude of avoiding 10 tons/Co2 for every 1 ton of Co2) and competitive economics compared to conventional coal-based BDO in the market. Globally, more than 2.5 million tons of BDO are produced annually. If all BDO was produced using Geno™ BDO technology, over 14 million tons of greenhouse gases per year would be avoided, the equivalent of taking 3 million cars off the road.

Hyosung TNC anticipates contributing to the expansion of the white biotechnology market by transforming key raw materials in the chemical industry into sustainable alternatives based on its Bio-BDO business.

Recognizing the sustainability of regen™ BIO spandex, Hyosung TNC secured the ISCC+ international certification, a global sustainability and carbon certification system, in 2023. In 2022, it also obtained the SGS certification, verifying that it manufactured bio-spandex partly using renewable raw materials to replace petroleum-based ingredients.

Chairman Hyun-Joon Cho: “Targeting the Global Market with Sustainable Bio Materials”

Hyun-Joon Cho, chairman of Hyosung, stated, “The bio business, which transforms conventional fossil raw materials into eco-friendly ones, will become a core pillar of Hyosung for the next 100 years. We will enhance Hyosung’s premium brand status by strengthening our global sustainable market penetration based on our consistent production system of Bio-BDO and Bio Spandex.”

Since the late 2000s, Chairman Cho has been closely monitoring the rapid reorganization of the global textile market, especially in Europe and the Americas, towards sustainable products and has consistently directed Hyosung TNC to respond in an agile manner.

As environmental regulations, including carbon taxes, become stricter in global markets in such areas as Europe and the Americas, the textile and fashion market is evolving, and survival without certified sustainable products is becoming virtually impossible.

As the value consumption of sustainable products increases, especially among Millennials and GenZers, chemical companies’ marketing efforts to promote a sustainable brand image are expanding significantly. To achieve this, the company plans to lead the sustainable market by continuing to collaborate with major global customers and chemical brands to introduce functional, sustainable products utilizing Bio-BDO.

Hyosung TNC to expand sustainable textile sales to over 20% by 2030

regen™ BIO has been recognized as an innovative product that is changing the trend of the sustainable fashion and textile industry by using natural resources as raw materials, minimizing resource consumption and environmental pollution.

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