BOGOTA, June 11 (Reuters) - Mexican chemicals and plastic pipe maker Mexichem will invest $800 million this year to build factories in countries where it is already established and improve existing facilities, its chief executive officer said on Thursday.
Mexichem has 122 industrial plants, mines and laboratories in more than 30 countries and its investment budget this year will nearly triple from last year's $270 million.
"This is the most important year for Mexichem in organic investment," CEO Antonio Carrillo told reporters during a visit to Colombia, where the conglomerate makes 10 percent of sales.
Half of the investments will be spent on its ethylene plant in Texas, while $100 million will be invested in projects it is developing as part of an association with Mexican state oil company Pemex.
The remaining $300 million will be spent on organic growth, including in Colombia. Carrillo did not give further details.
The conglomerate is also looking into acquisitions in both South and North America as well as Asia, he said, adding any spending would be under the $1 billion it spent on takeovers last year. The company's annual turnover is around $6 billion.
"We're a conservative company financially, which means that since we bought a lot last year, we're in the digestion process, reducing debt," Carrillo said. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Matthew Lewis)