SEOUL, Mar. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Innovation Co., South Korea’s top oil refiner, said Thursday that its shareholders approved a plan to spin off a unit that focuses on the development of information and electronic materials.
The spin-off underscores its commitment to fostering its new growth engine, SK Innovation said.
With the latest move, SK Innovation, also a major electric vehicle (EV) battery maker, will have a total of six affiliates under its wing, including SK Energy Co. and SK Lubricants Co.
The new unit will be involved in developing key information and electronic materials, such as lithium-ion battery separator (LiBS).
SK Innovation has been increasing spending on the EV battery business in a bid to diversify its business portfolio.
Earlier this week, SK Innovation broke ground for an 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.
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 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.
SK Innovation said its directors approved a proposal to appoint outside director Kim Jong-hoon as the chief of the board.
Kim served as a lawmaker from 2012 to 2016 after a decades-long bureaucrat career. He also served as the country’s trade minister between 2007 and 2011.