SK Innovation’s battery plant in Georgia remains in limbo.
LG Energy Solutions, a South Korean company, says it could potentially build a battery plant in Georgia if its rival, SK Innovation, isn’t allowed to proceed with the factory that is currently under construction in Commerce, Georgia.
Last month the US International Trade Commission ruled that SK Innovation stole 22 trade secrets from LG and was banned from doing battery sales in the US for 10 years. Although the battery cell company can still supply batteries to Ford for four years and Volkswagen for two years because of contracts finalized before the ban. President Biden has until April to uphold or overturn the ruling.
If SK is officially banned from the US next month, nobody knows what will happen to the SK plant that’s partially built. LG Energy Solutions CEO Jong Hyun Kim contacted Democratic US Senator Raphael Warnock about opening the company’s own plant there or help run the SK plant if another entity purchases it.
The SK plant is a $2.6 billion EV battery plant that is supposed to provide 2,600 jobs once it opens in 2022. The partially built plant received $300 million in free land, cash, and other incentives from the state of Georgia.
LG recently announced it would invest more than $4.5 billion in EV battery production in the US and plans to build at least two more battery plants. The battery cell company currently has a plant in Holland, Michigan, and one that’s currently under construction in Lordstown, Ohio (GM’s Ultium cells). LG and GM are currently in talks to build another battery plant and another plant could be with Tesla. We recently reported that LG is working on a pilot 4680 battery cell production line.
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