New EV battery plant in Georgia will cost $1.67 billion

South Korean battery manufacturer - SK Innovation - announced a plan to build a new electric car battery manufacturing plant (for lithium-ion cells) in Jackson County, Georgia.

The investment is estimated at $1.67 billion and according to SK Innovation, it will create more than 2,000 jobs. The first phase ($1 billion and more than 1,000 jobs) will begin in early 2019.

SK Innovation didn't say in the press release what production capacity is planned (how many GWh annually), but says that it will be "the largest scale electric vehicle battery plant in the United States", which makes us wonder whether we are missing something or will it really beat the Tesla Gigafactory (rather unlikely). The amount of €1.67 billion should be enough for at least 30 GWh annually assuming $50 per kWh of installed production capacity.

Two automotive groups: Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai-Kia Motors were mentioned among SK Innovation's customers, while, interestingly, there was no word about Volkswagen, which is expected to pick up SK Innovation as its primary battery cell supplier in North America.

"SK Innovation, which is part of SK Group, is making the investment to better compete in the growing global EV battery market. Customers for SK Innovation include Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai-Kia Motors, and this new investment will provide opportunities for SK Innovation to bring its world-class products to additional automakers in the United States."

"The new plant will be located in Jackson County, Georgia. Construction will occur in two phases, beginning in early 2019. The first phase will invest approximately $1 billion and employ more than 1,000 advanced manufacturing employees, making it the largest scale electric vehicle battery plant in the United States. SK Innovation leadership worked closely with federal, state and local officials to finalize the investment."

Jun Kim, CEO of SK Innovation said:

“We are excited to bolster our presence in the United States by making this investment in Georgia. SK Innovation is a worldwide leader in the energy industry and this latest investment will allow us to work with the growing automotive industry in the Southeastern United States, ensuring future partnerships for years to come.”

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said:

“SK Group’s investment in the state of Georgia is undeniable proof that President Trump’s economic policies are working for the American economy and American worker. I am delighted that a world-class technology company such as SK sees the merits of manufacturing in the United States. As similar companies across the world are discovering, there is no better place to do business than right here in America.”

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