Manufacturers need to raise the bar to simply stay in the game

The three major South Korean lithium-ion battery manufacturers - LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation - are heavily investing in further growth to stay competitive in the global market.

Yonhap lists the latest investment plans, which will increase the production capacity several times.

LG Chem announced 3 trillion won (US$2.67 billion) projects:

Overall, LG Chem is expected to increase its output from 34 GWh to 110 GWh by 2020.

SK Innovation has a bold goal to increase its production capacity by order of magnitude - from 4.7 GWh to 55 GWh by 2022, which is just four years from now.

Besides launching a new plant for battery parts (separators and ceramic coating) in Changzhou, China (400 billion won or $357 million), SK Innovation announced expansion to the U.S. where will build a plant for lithium-ion cells in Georgia (9.8 GWh annually). The investment was estimated at $1.67 billion, but media already said that there is potential for at least twice more. Yonhap says the cost is to be morlikeke 1.14-trillion won ($1 billion).

SK Innovation has started new investment also in Hungary, Europe, where 7.5 GWh battery plant will be built in Hungary at cost of 840.2 billion won ($777 million) by 2022.

SK Innovation held a groundbreaking ceremony for the factory to produce EV batteries in Hungary

SK Innovation held a groundbreaking ceremony for the factory to produce EV batteries in Hungary

Samsung SDI seeks a second battery plant in China. The investment could be 1 trillion won ($891 million).

The new small facility in Hungary, Europe for up to 50,000 battery packs annually, is already up and running.

The question is whether Samsung SDI will be able to secure enough orders from the U.S. to build a battery plant also in North America - the company is present at the NAIAS, which shows that they are trying.

Samsung SDI batteries

Samsung SDI batteries

Source: en.yna.co.kr