SK to invest 247 trillion won with focus on chips, batteries, bio

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SK to invest 247 trillion won with focus on chips, batteries, bio

SK Group headquarters in downtown Jongno District, central Seoul. [YONHAP]

SK Group headquarters in downtown Jongno District, central Seoul. [YONHAP]

SK companies will invest 247 trillion won ($195 billion) over the course of the next five years with a focus on chips, batteries and bio.
SK Group, Korea’s second-largest chaebol by asset size in 2021, outlined its mid- and long-term investment plan through 2026 on Thursday, eyeing the semiconductor, sustainable energy and biopharmaceutical businesses as its future growth engines. Of the 247-trillion-won fund, 179 trillion won will be spent in Korea, and 50,000 new employees will be hired during the same period.

Chip business will take utmost priority. SK Group allocated 142.2 trillion won, more than half of the total investment, into semiconductor manufacturing and related businesses.

The biggest focus is on expanding chip production capacity. SK cited the construction of SK hynix' massive chip cluster in Yongin, Gyeonggi, as one of the major projects over the next five years. The chipmaker plans to break ground on the 120-trillion-won Yongin complex this month and begin operations in 2026.

SK will also build additional fab facilities and manufacturing plants for chip-making materials such as specialty gases and wafers by 2026.

SK hynix, the world’s second-largest memory chipmaker, currently has plants in Icheon, Gyeonggi and Cheongju, North Chungcheong. The company is reportedly considering building another manufacturing plant in Cheongju, according to local press.

About 67.4 trillion won will go to battery and renewable energy businesses.

SK plans to scale up electric vehicle battery production capacity, as well as that of battery components. It will also ramp up investments in the new renewable energy sector, which includes hydrogen and wind power, in a bid to expand energy production capacities. SK will utilize the fund for investing in overseas companies to enhance its competitiveness in the global market as well.

SK’s biopharmaceutical subsidiaries are getting 12.7 trillion won, which will be put into the research and development of original drugs such as SK Biopharmaceuticals’ epilepsy treatment Cenobamate, the company’s first commercialized drug. Some of the investments will be used in expanding the manufacturing capacity for vaccines and other drugs in SK’s contract manufacturing business.
Meanwhile, 24.9 trillion won will be invested in telecommunications and digital transformation-related businesses. SK will spend the money in securing network equipment for 5G services and developing content.

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