SK On, Ford, Koc plan joint battery venture in Turkey
It will be the first joint venture between a Korean battery maker and a carmaker in Europe, although such investments have been made in the U.S.
Koc Holding is an Istanbul-based company that has a diverse business portfolio. It formed a joint venture with Ford in 1959 under the name Ford Otosan that can manufacture 455,000 units of commercial vehicles annually.
The joint venture will be located near Ankara and manufacture lithium-ion batteries with NCM (nickel-cobalt-manganese) chemistry.
It is expected to go into production in 2025 at the earliest.
It will produce 30 to 45 gigawatt-hour (GWh) worth of batteries per year for use mostly in commercial vehicles, according to SK On.
SK On’s venture follows multiple investments in the U.S. in recent years.
It is currently building two independent factories in Georgia which have combined annual production capacity of 21.5 GWh. The first is scheduled to start production this year.
Last year, the company formed a joint venture called BlueOvalSK with American carmaker Ford to build battery factories in Kentucky and Tennessee with a combined annual manufacturing capacity of 129 GWh. Both factories are scheduled to initiate operation in 2025.
BlueOvalSK is a 50-50 joint venture with 5.1 trillion won ($4.1 billion) investment from each partner.
“This proposed new battery joint venture is a prime example of how we are leveraging strategic partnerships to strengthen our business,” said Stuart Rowley, chairman of Ford of Europe.
“It is also the first in a number of significant electrification and commercial vehicle announcements we will make this year as part of the ongoing redesign of our operations to create a leaner, stronger and sustainable all-electric Ford business in Europe.”
SK On, a supplier to Hyundai Motor, Kia and Volkswagen among others, plans to expand its battery manufacturing capacity to 220 GWh by 2025 and 500 GWh by 2030.
It ranked No. 5 in the global EV battery market last year, holding a 5.6 percent market share. It supplied 16.7 GWh batteries to EV makers, 107.5 percent on-year growth.
BY JIN EUN-SOO [email@example.com]