A major manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles is planning to make another addition to its facility in Jackson County.
SK Innovation announced through Gov. Brian Kemp's office on Thursday that the company will invest another $940 million to expand its manufacturing plant at the Commerce 85 Business Park. The money will be used to construct a 430,000 square-foot plant at the site.
The new project is an addition to the company's original $1.67 billion investment to construct two manufacturing facilities at the business park. SK broke ground on its first building in March 2019 and groundbreaking for the second building is scheduled for next month.
The company had planned to hire 2,000 employees with its initial investment and now, company officials say they will need to hire another 600 people for the latest expansion.
"Georgia is cementing its place as the Southeastern U.S. hub for the electric battery and vehicle market in large part thanks to SK innovation, and it is exciting to see the growth in demand for these quality products," Gov. Kemp said in a press statement.
When complete, the Georgia location will be among the facilities in Europe and Asia that give SK innovation a projected annual global capacity of 71 gigawatt hours, making it one of the leading makers of EV batteries in the world.
"SK innovation's solid partnership with Georgia will allow SK to continue investing in Georgia, the U.S. economy, and the U.S. electric vehicle industry,” said SK innovation CEO Jun Kim. “SK innovation looks forward to working with our partners on an expanded project that creates even more jobs for the local community and supports advancements that help keep America on the leading-edge of a fast-growing industry.”
SK innovation is a part of the SK Group, one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea. The company employs more than 6,500 individuals worldwide, and customers for SK innovation’s battery business include Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai-Kia Motors and Ford Motor Company.
"This is a very exciting time in the history of the automotive industry,” said Jackson County Industrial Development Authority Chairman Scott Martin. “Innovative companies like SK are revolutionizing the automotive industry for the better, and we could not be more excited that they have decided to locate and expand in Jackson County.”
Director of Korean Investment Yoonie Kim represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Global Commerce division in partnership with the Jackson County Development Authority and Georgia Power.
SK innovation is also a partner in community activities in Georgia. The company recently donated $400,000 to Augusta University and Augusta University Health’s response and associated expenses pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. SK innovation’s significant contribution to Augusta University helped the state continue to enhance its testing capacity while reducing exposure for Georgia’s doctors, nurses and medical staff through at-home screening.