SK Innovation said on Tuesday that it plans to inject an additional 886 billion won ($727 million) investment to build a second electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in the United States (U.S).
The South Korean company said that the construction would begin in July, aiming to initiate mass production starting in 2023.
The battery maker plans to invest a total of around 3 trillion won ($2.5 billion) in its U.S. battery business. The investment involves building two manufacturing plants with an annual combined capacity of 21.5-gigawatt-hour (GWh) in Georgia.
SK Innovation initially invested 2 trillion won ($1.67 billion) in the construction of its first plant in Georgia. The company broke ground in March last year, expecting to start mass production by 2022. The first plant would have an annual capacity of 9.8-GWh serving Volkswagen‘s EV plant in neighboring Tennessee.
The proposed second EV battery plant would have an annual capacity of 11.7-GWh of batteries.
To Boost Economic Growth
Kim Jun, SK Innovation’s CEO, said that amid the challenges faced by the global community, the company believes in the importance of creating strategic investments to drive economic growth and meaningful change in the economy.
Kim added that the investment would significantly contribute to the development of the U.S. EV industry value chain and ecosystem. The local economy of Georgia would benefit greatly as the plants could generate as much as 6,000 jobs.
SK Innovation said that when both plants start mass production, its facilities in South Korea, China, and Hungary combined with the Georgia site would give a projected annual global capacity of 71-GWh. This would make the company one of the leading EV battery makers worldwide.
Since the company’s establishment in 1962, SK Innovation has engaged in various market sectors, such as oil exploration and production, information and electronics materials manufacture, and the rapidly expanding EV batteries market.