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Battery separators

SKIET to build additional battery separator plants in Poland

Mar 28, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

SK IE Technology employee examines battery separator at a local plant.
SK IE Technology employee examines battery separator at a local plant.

SK Innovation Co.’s material business arm SK IE Technology Co. (SKIET) is set to construct two additional electric vehicle battery separator plants in Poland. The project, valued at around 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion), marks the largest single investment carried out by the battery separator maker.

The decision to construct Plant 3 and Plant 4 in Poland was finalized during a board meeting last week, the company said on Mar. 28. The two plants’ combined production capacity is expected to reach 860 million square meters, meaning that SKIET will be able to produce a total 1.5 billion square meters of separators from its Poland-based plants alone.

The construction for Plant 3 and Plant 4 will begin in the third quarter with mass production slated for the end of 2023. Meanwhile, Plant 1 and Plant 2 are set to begin commercial production in the third quarter of this year and in the first quarter of 2023, respectively.

Battery separators are core components in EV batteries and account for 15% to 20% of production costs. They have direct impact on the lithium-ion battery’s safety and performance. 

“We're seeing higher demand than expected due to the rapidly growing EV battery market, which is why we’ve decided to take preemptive measures and build additional plants," said a SKIET official.

The global battery separator market is expected to surge from 4 billion square meters in 2020 to 16 billion square meters in 2025, according to the battery industry.

The latest investment is likely to further increase SKIET's market share in the global battery separator market. The company aims to solidify its leading position in the wet separator market by securing around 30% market share by 2025.

Battery separators produced by SKIET in Europe will be supplied first to its parent company SK Innovation’s Europe-based plants. SK Innovation runs a 17 gigawatt-hour (GWh) plant in Hungary and plans to commit 2.6 trillion won to raise the production capacity to 47 GWh.

SKIET is also set to provide separators to LG Energy Solution, which is currently embroiled in a battery dispute with SK Innovation. LG Energy Solution operates a 70 GWh battery plant in Poland.

Meanwhile, SKIET filed a preliminary listing application to the Korea Exchange last December as it plans to go public this year. Industry watchers expect the company's enterprise value to top 5 trillion won. 


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

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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