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Widespread operational slowdowns

Posted December. 03, 2000 21:00,   


"How do you think it feels to let such 40 billion won worth of machinery sit idle? The more we ran the machines, the deeper we ran into debt. We had to stop the machines. Every time I make the rounds at the factory, I just want to weep."

At a factory in the South Cholla Province petrochemical industrial park, there are many machines that have been unplugged. The factory, which produces linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), stopped running one of its three production facilities in mid-November. Starting this month, the adjacent production lines will also be run at less than full capacity.

Widespread operational slowdowns:

LG Chemical, in order to cut production of ethylene, which makes up 5-7% of emulsified products, the factory in Yochon for the production of naphtha cracking center (NCC) slowed its operations. Samsung Chemical also decided to reduce its output of core products by 25% by next March. At the industrial park in Yochon, there are ceaseless exchanges of news of reductions and slowdowns in operations.

The international trend toward decreased production:

The decreased production due to an oversupply problem and forecasts of general economic slowdowns has had international repercussions.

Various industries such as the steel and the synthetic fiber sectors, which have had chronic oversupply problems, have already begun a decrease in production in anticipation of the economic slowdown. Experts have proposed the financial market jitters -- slower consumer spending -- lowered demand ?stock pileup -- decreased production -- and stoppage as the model of the vicious cycle afflicting Korea.