|An artist's concept of SK Innovation's battery manufacturing plant in Hungary, which will begin mass production starting 2020. The firm said Wednesday it will construct a battery manufacturing plant in China, its second in the country. / Courtesy of SK Innovation|
By Baek Byung-yeul
SK Innovation has decided to build a second battery manufacturing plant in China, the energy and chemical arm of SK Group said Wednesday.
The company said its board of directors approved a plan to invest 579.9 billion won ($488 million), Tuesday, to construct the second battery plant in China ― it is currently constructing its first plant in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province.
"The construction is to meet growing demand for EV batteries as the firm has been receiving increasing orders from global carmakers," a spokeswoman for the firm said.
The firm said its Chinese partner for the second plant has not been decided yet and the details such as the site and the manufacturing capacity will be announced later.
"Under our China Insider strategy which aims to seek mutual growth with China, we decided to construct another battery manufacturing plant in the country following the Changzhou plant," the firm said.
SK Innovation has been actively expanding its battery capacity with an aim to have an annual output equivalent to 60 gigawatt hours (GWh), which is enough to power 2 million EVs, by 2022. The firm is now constructing battery plants in Hungary, the United States and China with a total investment of 5 trillion won. Its accumulated order backlog is estimated at 430 GWh as of March.
Currently, its Seosan plant in South Chungcheong Province has an annual battery production capacity of 4.7 GWh.
The firm began constructing the Changzhou plant in August 2018 under a joint venture with Beijing Electronics Holding and BAIC Motor. The plant, which will begin mass production starting the first half of 2020, will have an annual battery production capacity of 7.5 GWh.
In Hungary, the company is building two battery manufacturing plants in Komarom, near the Slovakian border. The plants will have a battery production capacity of 7.5 GWh and 9 GWh respectively. Its Georgia plant in the U.S., which will start mass production in 2022 will produce 9.8 GWhs of battery output.