SK Innovation has received a loan of 500 million US dollars from the Export-Import Bank of Korea. These funds are to be used for SKI’s second production facility for electric car battery cells in Hungary.
As reported, this is located in Komárom, just like the first factory, and is to start delivering cells to European car manufacturers on a large scale from next year.
The loan now received is a green loan fund, which SKI says it obtained on “favourable financial terms”. “[…] having secured stable funds, the investments for the second manufacturing plant in Hungary will be nothing but smooth sailing,” said Kim Yang-seob, SK Innovation’s chief financial officer.
Earlier this year, SK Innovation had also decided to build a third battery cell factory in Hungary with an annual production capacity of 30 GWh, specifically in Iváncsa, 50 kilometres southwest of Budapest. Construction is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2021, but will not be completed until 2028.
SKI currently only develops and produces pouch cells. As SK Innovation’s battery chief Jee Dong-seob confirmed this week at South Korea’s largest battery trade fair, Inter Battery, the company is also looking into the development and production of new types of battery cells, including cylindrical and prismatic cells. The Korean company hopes to expand their customer base in this way. Jee indicated that the company is preparing to diversify its product portfolio, which currently consists only of pouch cells. “We are reviewing the development of cylindrical and prismatic battery cells,” Jee explained verbatim.
As is well known, Tesla relies on round cells in various formats, and the vehicles from the Giga Shanghai also use other cell types in some cases. While the pouch cell initially seemed to prevail among European carmakers, the new unit cell of the VW Group will be a prismatic cell.