SK Innovation, Ford to invest 13 trillion won to build three US battery plants

SK Innovation, Ford to invest 13 trillion won to build three US battery plants

A truck drives down a rural road near a water tower marking the location of the Memphis Regional Megasite on Sept. 24, in Stanton, Tenn. Ford Motor and SK Innovation plan to build three new electric-vehicle battery factories and an auto assembly plant by 2025 in Tennessee and Kentucky. AP-Yonhap

South Korean battery maker SK Innovation Co. and American automaker Ford said Tuesday they will invest 13 trillion won ($11 billion) to build three electric vehicle batteries in the United States by 2025.

A joint venture between the two companies, called BluOvalSK, will build an assembly and battery complex in Tennessee, and two additional battery factories in Kentucky, which will be the single largest investment in Ford’s 118-year history, the two companies said in a statement.

The three factories will have a combined production capacity of 129 gigawatt-hours (GWh), enough to supply 2.15 million EVs a year.

SK Innovation will invest 5.1 trillion won over the next five years, while Ford will cover the rest.

SK Innovation, a refinery-and-battery unit under South Korea’s No. 3 conglomerate SK Group, already has been building a $2.6 billion battery factory in Georgia, which will supply batteries for Ford’s F-150 EVs.

Together with the joint venture’s additional three factories, SK Innovation said it will become the largest battery supplier in the U.S. with a combined capacity of over 150 GWh by 2025.

SK Innovation, the world’s No. 6 battery maker, said earlier it has bagged 1,000 gigawatt-hours worth of EV battery orders, estimated at around 130 trillion won, and has been pushing to expand partnership with major automakers.

SK Innovation is set to split off its battery unit Friday to foster the new growth driver under its plan to invest 30 billion won by 2025 to transition from a carbon-intensive model to a green business. (Yonhap)

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