SEOUL, Mar. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Innovation Co. said Wednesday it has broken ground for an electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in the United States.
South Korea’s top energy-chemical business group said in November it will invest 1.14 trillion won (US$1.01 billion) to build the 9.8 gigawatt-hour capacity battery plant in the city of Commerce in Jackson County, Georgia.
The U.S. plant, to be constructed by 2021, could be expanded if the need arises, the company said earlier.
Thanks to the investment, the company will have EV battery plants in each of its four key markets — South Korea, China, Europe and the United States.
SK Innovation is South Korea’s leading refiner, but it has moved into the EV battery business since 2008 as part of its efforts to diversify its operations and find new revenue sources.
In October, SK Innovation also said it is aiming to use 400 billion won to build a lithium-ion battery separator plant in China.
SK Innovation said it will strive to raise its EV battery output capacity to 60 GWh by 2022 from the current 4.7 GWh by building more plants and expanding existing facilities.
The company provides lithium-ion batteries for EVs produced by Kia Motors and China’s state-run Beijing Automotive Industries Holdings.