SEOUL (Reuters) - SK Innovation Co Ltd (096770.KS), which owns South Korea's top refiner SK Energy, said on Sunday it will spend up to 3 trillion won ($2.49 billion) in chemicals, oil exploration and battery businesses to boost its global growth.
Kim Joon, president of SK Innovation, said in a statement that the investments would target new growth options and innovate its business, even though 2017 is expected to be a tough business environment.
Under the plan, SK Innovation aims to continue its investment on mergers and acquisitions in chemicals and oil exploration sectors as well as expansion of its battery plants, according to the statement.
SK Innovation said in September last year it would expand its businesses in China through joint venture or mergers and acquisitions of Chinese chemical companies.
In 2013, SK Innovation subsidiary SK Global Chemical invested a total of 3.3 trillion won ($3 billion) into the Sinopec-SK Wutan Petrochemical joint venture.
SK Innovation also said last April that it will begin building electric vehicle battery factories in China but the plan was delayed due to regulatory uncertainty in China, two company officials told Reuters.
Despite the setback in China, SK Innovation plans to increase its battery production by expanding its battery plants in South Korea.
($1 = 1,206.2500 won)
Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Michael Perry