South Korea’s SK Innovation Co. a supplier for Volkswagen and Ford Motor Co., said on Tuesday it will spend $727 million to build a second EV battery plant in the United States.
It will begin construction of the factory in July and aim to start production in 2023, the company said in a statement.
It did not say where the factory will be located. At one time it had indicated that it may build a second plant in the state of Georgia.
It will make a further investment in its second U.S. factory, bringing total spending to about $1.5 billion, an SK Innovation spokesperson told Reuters, but did not give a timeframe.
The company is currently building its first factory in the United States, in Georgia, for $1.6 billion. That 9.8 GWh factory will serve Volkswagen’s plant in neighboring Tennessee, with production on track to begin in 2022.
The proposed second plant will have an annual capacity of 11.7 gigawatt-hours of batteries.
SK Innovation, South Korea’s biggest oil refiner, has rapidly expanded into EV batteries, with factories in South Korea, China and Hungary.
SK Innovation is also currently involved in a legal battle in the United States with its South Korean rival LG Chem, in which a win for LG Chem could stop SK Innovation importing EV batteries and components.
Researcher Wood Mackenzie this month forecast that global electric vehicle (EV) sales would drop 43 percent this year to 1.3 million vehicles because of the coronavirus outbreak, lower oil prices and a wait-and-see approach to buying new models.