SK Innovation To Build $1.67 Billion Battery Plant In Georgia

DEC 4 2018 BY MARK KANE 14

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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14 Comments on "SK Innovation To Build $1.67 Billion Battery Plant In Georgia"

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This is great news and $1.67 billion is huge amount. By the time, first phase completes they will be talking about 3rd and 4th phases.

I wish they reveal the annual production capacity but Koreans seldom announce those numbers.

This article says the first phase is $1b and 9.8 GWh/year. Not sure how that is the “largest scale” in the US, but battery claims are often inflated. It also says roduction starting in 2022, which seems late if real construction starts in a few months.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-sk-innovation-battery/south-koreas-sk-innovation-to-build-its-first-u-s-ev-battery-plant-idUSKCN1NV11M

9.8GWh is roughly 150,000 Kona/Soul-size (64kWh) packs.

Nifty.

Great news for my home state! I wish SK had taken advantage of the opportunity to negotiate better EV policies in the state. Georgia currently has the highest (AFAIK) annual EV tag tax in the country at $200+ per year. While I support the need to pay for infrastructure, I do think GA needs to be competitive with surrounding states. Around $100 to $150 would be more competitive. Also, I believe the current toll exemption for EVs expires at the end of 2019 in GA. Would be nice to get that benefit extended for at least a few years.

I used to say, “oh, you know, that other battery company”. But now I think SK Inovations is ingrained in my memory.

They’re like the third tenor of Korean battery makers…..

There are about 17 million new cars sold in the United States each year. If even half of the cars sold is electric and if a single gigafactory can only make enough batteries for 150,000 cars a year then there would have to be at least fifty battery gigafactories to keep with the US battery demand. If anyone is looking for a career it looks like now would be a good time to get into battery gigafactory design and construction.

I think this factory could easily turn around the luck of a local town or county with them hiring 1,000 people in a area.

But it would be interesting to think of how many gallons of oil this factory will off set when it gets to full production.

They will deliver cells for VW too – but from this factory or another.. that is unclear.
The volume of cells needed it huge – so there have to be multiple huge cell factories in the US, and a lot of other places as well.

In the vid posted, dude says Mercedes is investing in a battery factory. It is a battery pack assembly facility not a battery cell manufacturing plant.

EVs are not only more efficient to drive and maintain but also to manufacture. They need less man hours to make. Total employment in the automotive space will go down. Long term this is good, freeing labor to do something else more productive. At one time over 95% of US labor was involved in agriculture. Innovate agricultural machinery replaced farm labor allowing them to fill factories.

“They need less man hours to make. ”

Tesla is doing their best to make you a liar 🙂

What is the current output of GF1? 25 GWh/yr? What is the planned output once completed? 35 GWh/yr?

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.”

There is something humorous about anybody in Trump’s admin trying to take credit for this.

This is amazing. Wonder which construction company they’re using.