MOSCOW (MRC) -- SK Innovation announced on Sept. 22 that it plans to hire more than 1,000 skilled American workers by the end of 2021 as it prepares for initial production at the first of two electric vehicle (EV) battery plants in Georgia, the United States, said Businesskorea.
SK Innovation's EV battery plant is one of the largest economic projects in Georgia’s history. The company affirmed its long-range investment plans for the facility that would make Georgia one of the largest hubs of EV battery manufacturing in the world.
SK Innovation, through SK Battery America, its battery business subsidiary in the U.S., recently reached a hiring milestone with the on-boarding of its first 60 employees at the plant site in the city of Commerce. These employees include production supervisors, production/process/electrical engineers and quality/logistics specialists who will set up, work and serve as the trainers for the EV battery production workforce at the two SK Battery America plants.
SK Battery America’s EV plants will directly create more than 2,600 permanent jobs in the Jackson County area by 2024. The company began initial hiring and training employees at the Georgia site with plans to have more than 150 employees by the end of this year. In addition, about 900 employees are expected to be recruited next year. The new jobs will include a range of technical roles from production operators to senior engineers focused on manufacturing highly sophisticated lithium-ion battery cells at scale. To help begin the process of hiring and training workers, SK Battery America has signed a partnership agreement with Quick Start and Lanier Technical College in Georgia.
As MRC reported earlier, SK Global Chemical, a subsidiary of SK Innovation, plans to shut down its production processes for ethylene and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) within its naphtha cracking center in Ulsan, South Korea. The 200,000-t/y naphtha cracker, which started commercial operation in 1972, and the EPDM unit, which began commercial operation in 1992, will be mothballed from December 2020 to shift the company's focus to high-value added chemicals.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing PE and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PE production totalled 1,712,400 tonnes in the first seven months of 2020, up by 58% year on year. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounted for the greatest increase in the output. At the same time, overall PP production in Russia increased in January-July 2020 by 24% year on year to 1,063,700 tonne. ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in the output.
SK Innovation also recently achieved key construction milestones at the Georgia site with the completion of the exterior of its first manufacturing plant and groundbreaking on the second plant at the same site. The two EV battery plants at Georgia are part of SK Innovation’s USD2.6 billion investment in its U.S. battery business. The first plant is scheduled to begin initial operations in 2021 with mass production in 2022, and the second one is expected to begin mass production in 2023. Together, the two SK Battery America plants will have total annual capacity of 21.5 GWh, which is enough to power more than 300,000 electric vehicles. As the market for EVs continues to grow, SK Innovation is committed to making Georgia a world leader in EV battery manufacturing.