SKIET opens its first European lithium-ion battery separator plant
SK IE Technology (SKIET), the material business subsidiary of SK Innovation has officially opened its lithium-ion battery separator plant in Silesia Province, Poland, the company’s first European production base.
After about 21 months of construction SKIET’s first plant in Poland stands complete. The company expects to kick off commercial operation in the fourth quarter of this year. The amount of production is enough to be mounted to 300,000 electric vehicles, the company says in a press release, and the products will be supplied to global battery companies such as SK On. “As SKIET produces lithium-ion battery separators, indispensable materials for EV batteries for the first time in Poland, EU, I expect it will both attain the growth of the company and the invigoration of the European EV market,” SKIET CEO Rho Jae-sok said during the opening ceremony. “We will provide our product not only to battery companies in Poland but also those in Europe such as Hungary and the United States as well. This will eventually contribute positive impact to the Polish economy.” “I’m very delighted that the construction of SKIET’s Polish separator production plant has completed,” the Polish Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Technology Grzegorz Piechowiak added. “When the 4th plant is completed, SKIET’s Polish facility will be SK Group’s largest separator plant that can create about 1,000 new jobs, which is great news to the local community as well,” he added. SKIET plans to invest a total of KRW 2 trillion (EUR 1.45 billion) in Silesia Province, Poland by 2024 to secure the production capacity of 1,540 million square metres for the lithium-ion battery separators, which is the largest scale of battery separators production in Europe. Along with the first plant that begun its commercial production, the second plant with a 340 million square metres production capacity is under construction and aims at being ready for a commercial operation by 2023. And the third and fourth plants with respective 430 million square metres capacity have broken ground last July. It is anticipated that the global production capacity of SKIET encompassing South Korea, China, and Europe will reach a total of 2,730 million. square metres, the press release continutes. According to research experts at HIS, the European battery market will expand from 82GWh this year to about 410GWh in 2026, and the demand for separators will likely follow suit.