Goldman Sachs, SK to invest W50b in cold chain logistics center

Global investment banking group Goldman Sachs and SK Group’s holding company, which specializes in investment, said they would invest 50 billion won ($43 million) in Belstar Superfreeze, a developer and operator of cold chain logistics centers utilizing liquefied natural gas cold energy.

In the initial tranche of funding, Goldman Sachs and SK Corp. will each invest 25 billion won. Each has the option to invest an additional 12.5 billion won within one year.

Belstar will use the funding to build the largest cold chain logistics center in Korea at Songdo New Port in Incheon and to support the operation of its cold chain logistics center in Oseong Industrial Complex in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province.

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Established in 2014 by EMP Belstar, a US-based investment platform, the company operates the world’s first energy-independent cold chain logistics center within the Oseong Industrial Complex, combining LNG cold energy technology with various new and renewable energy technologies. These include a photovoltaic system, fuel cell power generation and an energy storage system.

Cold chain logistics centers that use LNG cold energy enable power-cost savings of up to 70 percent compared with conventional electric-powered cold warehouses. They also reach ultra-low temperatures not possible at conventional electric-powered cold warehouses, such as minus 80 degrees Celsius for storage of biomaterials and medical goods and minus 60 degrees Celsius for high-end fisheries items such as tuna.

Utilizing LNG cold energy minimizes the impact on ingredients and nutrients through rapid freezing and also prolongs freshness since uniform temperatures can be maintained consistently around the clock.

Located in the cold chain cluster promoted by the Incheon Port Authority, the Incheon cold chain logistics center that Belstar plans to develop will be the largest of its kind in Korea.

The port authority plans to promote and leverage the center not only as a hub for perishable foods exports in Asia, particularly targeting China, but also as a cold chain hub in Northeast Asia.

The port authority plans to promote and leverage the center not only as a hub for perishable foods exports in Asia, particularly targeting China, but also as a cold chain hub in Northeast Asia.

“The partnership with Goldman Sachs and SK Corp. will enable us to further upgrade Korea’s cold warehouse and cold chain infrastructure. Drawing on Goldman Sachs’ global network, experience in growing companies and cold chain logistics expertise, we endeavor to make real Korea’s ambitions to become the cold chain hub of Northeast Asia,” Chairman Daniel Yun of EMP Belstar said. 

In a statement, SK Corp. said: “Cold chain logistics centers developed and operated by Belstar are high value-add items that are key to the logistics hub business. We expected the continued construction of cold chain logistics centers to not only promote regional development but also contribute to creating jobs.”

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