[THE INVESTOR] SK Innovation has announced that it plans to invest 1.1 trillion won (US$973 million) to build manufacturing lines for electric vehicles in Georgia, US.
The chemical and electronic materials firm’s board approved the proposal on Nov. 26 to build the new plant that can produce up to 9.8 gigawatt-hours of batteries per year. The factory will be built on a 1.12 million-square-meter land in Jackson County.
The company plans to break ground early next year and roll out batteries from 2022. It currently operates an EV battery factory in Seosan, Korea, and plans to build two more factories -- in Hungary and China -- by 2022.
SK Innovation’s electric vehicle battery plant in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province. (SK Innovation)
When construction of the planned factories is completed in 2022, the battery manufacturer is anticipated to boast a total production capacity of 29.5GWh a year.
SK Innovation is the third-largest EV batter maker in Korea after LG Chem and Samsung SDI. It was recently picked as a battery supplier for Volkswagen EVs targeting the North American market.
“SK Innovation will try to achieve success in the US, one of the most competitive EV markets, and jump into the top echelon of the global EV battery market,” CEO Kim Joon said.
The firm’s battery business is often referred to as one of the conglomerate’s next growth engines after the semiconductor business led by SK hynix.
The latest plan is part of SK Group’s efforts to nurture businesses for electric and autonomous cars, including those for batteries, semiconductors and telecom technologies.
Joining forces with chip-manufacturing unit SK hynix and telecom affiliate SK Telecom, the battery maker will showcase its auto technologies at the upcoming CES trade show in January.
By Kim Young-won (email@example.com)