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LG to Invest $6.7B in Solar, EV batteries, LEDs and Water Treatment

<p>LG Group will invest more than $6.7 billion in green businesses by 2015, which it expects to yield about $8.4 billion in revenues and create 10,000 new jobs by the end of 2015.</p>

Life's good, South Korean electronics maker LG likes to say. But making life green will make the company money, if a new investment in green business by parent company LG Group pans out as expected.

The company said Sunday that it plans to invest more than $6.7 billion in green businesses by 2015. The investment is expected to yield about $8.4 billion in revenues and create 10,000 new jobs by the end of 2015, according to reports. It's all a part of a strategy the company calls "Green New Business."

LG says it will invest almost $1.7 billion in electric car batteries by 2013; $846 million in solar, LED lighting, and water treatment sectors; and almost $415 million in the silicon business by the end of 2014, according to reports in South Korean media. Another $338 million will go into solar cell production by 2015.

Along with increased revenues and new jobs, the South Korean business conglomerate (as family-run industrial groups are known there) says it also expects to see increased production of key product lines. It plans to charge its EV battery business with $1.6 billion to increase production by 250,000 units  to 350,000 by 2013.  LG says it wants to grab a 25 percent share of the global market for lithium-ion batteries -- which it makes for the Chevy Volt and, soon, for other General Motors vehicles, thanks to a recently announced partnership -- by 2015.

LG will also light up its solar business with $846 billion, in an effort to produce 1 gigawatt of solar cells by 2014. That's up from 330 megawatts produced last year. It is also expanding its research and development of green product lines with an $846-billion investment in a new R&D complex focused on solar cells and LED lighting, according to reports.

The Green New Business strategy is the lastest move toward the company's Green 2020 initiative, which is LG's plan to reduce its direct greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent below 2008 levels by 2020 and to reduce energy consumption by end-users of its products to 85 percent below 2007 levels by the end of next year.

Green business lines have been good for LG, so far. The company, which is South Korea's sixth-largest business conglomerate, reported more than $8 billion in revenue in 2010; of that, $1.2 billion is attributed to its green businesses, reports say.

LG isn't the only Asian manufacturing and electronics company to cash in on green business. Panasonic has its Green Transformation 2012 Plan and is working with business software giant SAP to integrate sustainability-compliance software throughout its business. Hitatchi is also in the midst of trying to turn its fortunes around by putting environmental innovations at the center of its next century of operations.

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