SK to double EV battery production by 2018
SK Innovation plans to double its production lines for electric car batteries next year, a move that experts say reflects the company’s active response to rapidly increasing demand for electric car batteries.
The company’s board of directors approved the plan last month and revealed the details on March 6. A second battery factory will be built in Seosan, South Chungcheong, and begin operating next year. Together with its already existing facility in Seosan, SK Innovation will be able to produce batteries for 140,000 electric vehicles annually.
The batteries will go to various global projects, and SK Innovation expects to be able to supply products to its clients for the next seven years. In line with its strategy to win contracts first and then build additional facilities later, the expansion will meet demand from new orders it has already received.
The new facility will be a smart factory that incorporates the latest information and communications technology in the manufacturing process. Machinery and equipment will be connected to the internet to maximize productivity. Data can be collected in real time, and decisions can be made based on the data.
The entire process, from handling of raw materials to packaging, will be automated, and the machines will be controlled by a central management system. With the technology, the new factory will be able to perform three times more efficiently than the existing factory while taking up the same amount of space.
“The decision to build more manufacturing facilities will strengthen the electric car battery business and innovate the business structure of our company,” an SK Innovation spokesperson said. “This shows that SK continues to participate in major projects in the global market, thereby increasing its business size.”
The company plans to develop adequate technology to promote continuous growth in the electric car battery business. In the future, it will expand research and development to obtain technology that meets high global standards. SK Innovation will also invest in human resources by hiring more people and providing educational programs to its staff members.
“Our company has continued its growth based on great technology and trust from our clients,” said Kim Jun, president of SK Innovation, “We will bolster our performance in the domestic and international electric car battery markets and strive to become one of the top three producers.”