SK On to build another battery plant in China

SK On to build another battery plant in China

The battery division of the South Korean company SK Innovation, SK On, is apparently planning its fourth and largest production facility for electric car batteries in China. SK On was spun off from its parent company at the beginning of October. The new plant will not be part of a joint venture, but will be operated independently, according to an agency report.

With reference to industry circles, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that SK On wants to invest the equivalent of 2.2 billion euros in the new factory in the city of Yancheng. SK On recently signed a contract with the city of Yancheng – located in the province of Jiangsu in the north-east of the country – according to the sources. However, the company has not yet confirmed the deal.

At the beginning of September, SK announced that it wanted to build another battery cell production plant in China – but without naming the location and the production capacity. At that time, however, there was only talk of investment in the neighbourhood of 900 million euros.

At present, SK On has three factories for electric car batteries in China – in Huizhou in the central Chinese province of Guangdong, Changzhou and another plant in Yancheng, both in Jiangsu province. The three plants have a combined annual production capacity of 27 GWh. The plants in Huizhou (together with Beijing Automobile Works) and Changzhou (with EVE Energy) are both joint ventures. The new plant in Yancheng will be operated solely by SK On, according to one of the sources.

According to Yonhap, the new factory will have an annual production capacity of 10 GWh, which would make the new plant in Yancheng SK On’s largest battery factory in China to date. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2022.

SK Innovation is currently the sixth-largest battery cell manufacturer and currently has around 40 GWh of production capacity with plants in South Korea, China, the USA and Hungary. By 2023, the capacity is to increase to 85 GWh, and by 2025 to 200 GWh. By 2030, SK Innovation wants to be able to produce 500 GWh.

SK On said last week that it has an order backlog of about 1.6 terawatt hours (TWh) of batteries, which could power roughly 23 million electric vehicles.

Olly Goodall

Author:Olly Goodall
Date Updated:5th Nov 2021

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