At a ceremony held yesterday in Royston, UK, Johnson Matthey signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with senior representatives of Gyeonggi province, Republic of Korea, to secure a green field site as the first step in a multi-million pound investment in Korea.

The site is located in a new high technology science park near Jangan in Gyeonggi province, 50 kilometres south west of Seoul.

Over the last decade Korea has emerged as a leading player in the global automotive industry and Johnson Matthey plans to build a plant to manufacture emission control catalysts for a wide range of both diesel and petrol powered vehicles.  The new facility will also carry out research and development activities and will include vehicle and engine emission test capabilities to support the Korean motor industry.

The MOU was signed by Larry Pentz, Executive Director, Environmental Catalysts and Technologies and Sohn, Hak-Kyu, the Governor of Gyeonggi province.  The signing ceremony was also attended by other senior representatives of Gyeonggi province, the Korean Embassy in London and KOTRA, the Korean Trade – Investment Promotion Agency.

Commenting on Johnson Matthey’s investment plans, Larry Pentz said “We recognise the growing importance of the Korean automotive industry and its strategic position in the global vehicle market. Furthermore, we expect Korea to be one of Asia’s most important markets for heavy duty diesel catalysts as emission standards continue to tighten throughout the region.

We feel the time is right to invest in Korea and are very pleased with our relationship with Gyeonggi province; it is the perfect location for us to establish a major presence is this key market.  We are honoured that the Governor Sohn and his delegation were able to visit us today”

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Governor Sohn said: “We are delighted that Johnson Matthey has selected Gyeonggi province for this important investment. It is our aim to attract high technology companies, with progressive, long-term plans to establish R&D and manufacturing facilities in our province in order to serve Korea and the Asia region. We look forward to the next phase of this investment.”