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EV Batteries

SK Innovation to raise $920 mn for US battery plant expansion

Jan 07, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)


SK Innovation's battery plant under construction in Georgia, US
SK Innovation's battery plant under construction in Georgia, US

South Korea-based SK Innovation Co. is ramping up investment for its US-based electric vehicle battery business, with plans to raise up to 1 trillion won ($920 million) in a green bond issue for the company's battery plant construction in Georgia, US.

The green bond issue was approved during a board meeting last month, according to industry sources on Jan. 6. The Korean company's US subsidiary SK Battery America (SKBA) will issue the bonds and the proceeds will be used for the second battery plant construction in Georgia, which is estimated to cost around $1.5 billion. 

Green bonds are special-purpose bonds issued to raise funds for eco-friendly projects such as those involving renewable energy or electric vehicles. 

Construction on SK Innovation’s second battery plant in Georgia started last year, with plans to kick off production in 2023. The 11.7-gigawatt-hour (GWh) plant will manufacture batteries for Ford’s electric trucks.

SK Innovation’s first Georgia-based battery plant, with a production capacity of 9.8GWh, will launch test runs in the first half of this year and begin production in early 2022.

The company aims to boost its annual battery production capacity from 19.7GWh to 100GWh by 2025, backed by its newly constructed battery plants.

Last year, the company also began operating its second electric vehicle battery plant in China, and announced plans to set up a third China-based battery plant in a joint venture with Chinese battery maker EVE Energy Co. 

SK Innovation has been increasing its presence in the EV market as it hopes to become one of the top three global players. According to market research firm SNE Research, SK Innovation came in fifth with a market share of 5.5% in the global market for EV battery sales in the January to November period of 2020.

However, the company's US plant operations may be affected by its ongoing legal battle with LG Energy Solution. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) will announce its final ruling on Feb. 10, and if SK Innovation loses, the company may face a setback in its plant operations alongside being banned from bringing in products, such as battery prototypes and battery parts, to the US.


Write to Man-su Choe at bepop@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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