According to the group’s official news channel, SK Group, one of South Korea’s conglomerates, said that it is investing an additional US$22 billion in semiconductors and the EV ecosystem in the US.
Additionally, the company established its EV charger business unit, SK Signet (formerly known as Signet EV), which it later bought.
The group and US president Joe Biden held a virtual meeting to discuss their new investment. The US will receive US$15 billion of the ramp-up funding for semiconductors.
The US EV ecosystem will be built with an estimated $5 billion in funding. It increases the group’s earlier $7 billion US investment announced in April for the development of new EV battery gigafactories in Kentucky and Tennessee. The new plants, as opposed to the group’s initial ones in Georgia, will fall under the SK Group and Ford joint venture, BlueOval SK.
The battery factories in Georgia are currently managed by SK Battery America (SKBA). Plant No. 1 has been in operation since the start of this year and has a 9.8 gigawatt-hour capacity. Plant No. 2 will begin operating the following year and has an 11.7 gigawatt-hour capacity.
The Georgia project involved a $2.6 billion investment.
Around 2025, the five factories—two in Georgia, two in Kentucky, and one in Tennessee—will be able to produce more than 150 GWh of batteries annually.
The SK ON Pre-IPO Under the name SK On, the company’s battery division was separated from SK Innovation last year. Due to losses, the subsidiary has postponed its IPO until at least 2026.
SK On has reportedly been in talks with major global private equity companies like Carlyle and BlackRock to raise roughly KRW4 trillion (US$3 billion) in a pre-IPO investment round, according to Reuters’ reporting on July 21.
Recently, SK On announced that it would work with Ford and the cathode material supplier EcoPro BM to establish EV battery material production in North America. The plant’s construction is anticipated to start in the second half of 2023.
In order to power Ford’s F-150, SK On has been providing batteries produced using EcoPro BM’s cathode materials, according to the company’s official news channel SKinno News.