SEOUL, July 1 (Reuters) – South Korea’s SK Group, whose major businesses are crude oil refining and telecom via SK Energy (096770.KS) and SK Telecom (017670.KS), said on Thursday it would invest 17.5 trillion won ($14.32 billion) by 2020 to develop energy resources and technologies.
The group also said in a statement that it would strengthen its global businesses mainly in China, South America, Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Of the total investment, the group would spend 4.5 trillion won to secure low-carbon energy, including solar, bio fuel and rechargeable battery, along with overseas natural resources such as oil, gas, iron ore and rubber, it said.
The group, via this overseas resource development, aims to raise its contribution to energy independency rates of South Korea, the world’s No.5 crude oil and No.2 liquefied natural gas
(LNG) buyer, to 13 percent by 2013 from 6 percent in 2008.
SK Energy said last month it would focus on exploration and production (E&P) of oil, and research and development (R&D) of energy by doubling the success rate of exploration to 20 percent and enhancing E&P business through various strategies, while enhancing its Chinese businesses. [nSGE65K026]
According to Thursday’s statement, SK Group would focus on developing crude oil, LNG and iron ore in South America, and petroleum, coal, rubber along with enhancing its telecom infrastructure business in Southeast Asia.
In the Middle East, the group said it would work on construction business of power-generating facilities and plants.
Of the total investment, 4.2 trillion won would be to establish “smart” environment, like a smart grid to raise energy efficiency via computerised monitoring of electricity flowing through a power grid, the statement said.
It added the remainder of the investment would go for developing innovative technologies, such as for bio businesses.
(Reporting by Cho Mee-young; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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