SK Innovation has begun placing orders for equipment as part of its plan to expand its second factory at Yancheng, China, TheElec has learned.
It has sent letters of intent to its major battery production equipment suppliers. The orders are expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2021.
The second factory is expected to have a battery production capacity of 10GWh per year, much like the first factory that begin production in October last year.
The second factory at Yancheng is expected to begin production in the second half of 2022. The batteries produced will be supplied to Kia’s joint venture in China, Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motor.
SK Innovation is expected to start ordering equipment for its second factory in Georgia in the US after Yancheng. Letters of intent is expected to be sent in the first half of 2021 at the earliest. Orders will likely start in the second half.
The second factory in Georgian will have a production capacity of 11.7GWh. Combined with the first factory, SK Innovation’s Georgia plant will have a battery production capacity of 21.5GWh per year. The first factory will start production in 2022 and the second in 2023.
SK Innovation last month issued a US$1 billion green bond after the board’s approval. This has given it enough funds to begin investing in its battery factories.
Last year in the second half, the company barely placed any orders for equipment.
SK Innovation’s investment is expected to help various South Korean equipment makers. In mixing, it will likely benefit Yunsung F&C and Jeil Machines; in assembly, Youil Energy Tech, Woowon Technology, Mplus, NS and Hana Technology; and in the back-end process, PNE Solution, Toptec and SFA.
SK Innovation is expected to secure an annual battery production capacity of 30GWh this year, level to that of Samsung SDI’s 33GWh. SK Innovation is expected to secure 85GWh in 2023 to surpass Panasonic’s 73GWh.