SK On will make a KRW 1.5-trillion (US$1.1-billion) investment in its domestic battery production base in Seosan, South Korea, paving the way for the completion of a core infrastructure that will fortify Korea’s domestic electric vehicle battery industry.
The Korean battery maker signed an MOU with South Chungcheong Province and Seosan City to build its third facility in Seosan. In accordance with the agreement, SK On will be expanding its third plant on a site covering approximately 44,1252 within the Seosan Auto Valley complex, located in Seosan City. The investment is the company’s largest domestic investment.
South Chungcheong Province and Seosan City will be responsible for providing administrative and financial support such as authorization and permission.
The third plant is slated to achieve a maximum production capacity of up to 14 GWh sequentially by 2028. At that point, SK On’s total domestic annual production capacity will reach about 20 GWh, which can power about 280,000 electric vehicles per year.
After establishing a 200 MWh (0.2 GWh) mass production line at Seosan Plant 1 in 2012, SK On increased its production to about 5 GWh in 2018 through gradual expansion.
A significant proportion of the investment in the third plant will be allocated to the procurement of battery equipment purchasing. The scale of raw material procurement is poised to gradually escalate alongside the expansion of production volume.
Since 2018, when SK On initiated its global expansion endeavors in earnest, it has successfully established a global mass production system with a collective capacity of 89 GWh across the US, Europe, and Asia, in five years.
SK On plans to implement a smart factory by introducing the latest facilities to the Seosan Plant 3 and optimize manufacturing operations. The aim is to increase production speed by more than 30% compared to the existing lines and further enhance process accuracy. In accordance with the expansion, the existing factory will also enhance productivity through activities such as line remodeling for process improvement.