South Korea's SK Innovation warns to withdraw its battery business from the U.S. and move to Europe or China

by:CTECHi     2021-09-02
South Korean battery manufacturer SK Innovation said on Tuesday that if U.S. President Biden does not overturn a ruling made by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) before April 11, the company will consider including the withdrawal of its battery business from the United States. All options included. 'The company has been consulting experts to discuss ways to withdraw its battery business from the United States,' said a spokesperson for SK Innovation. 'We are considering the option of transferring American battery production to Europe or China, which will cost us tens of billions of won.' SK Innovation is an energy company under the SK Group in South Korea, which provides electric vehicles to companies such as Volkswagen, Ford and Hyundai. Battery. The company's battery business turnover in 2020 reached 1.61 trillion won (approximately 9.29 billion yuan), which has more than doubled from 2019, but the battery business has not yet achieved profitability due to increased investment. SK Innovation and LG Energy Solutions, the battery unit wholly-owned by LG Chem, are in a legal dispute. In April 2019, LG Energy Solutions accused SK Innovation in the United States of stealing its trade secrets about electric vehicle battery technology. ITC chose to side with LG last month and issued a 10-year restriction order prohibiting SK Innovation from exporting lithium-ion batteries to the United States. If the two companies reach a settlement, this ruling will be invalidated. This ruling also made a partial exemption, allowing SK to import parts and components to produce batteries for the Ford F-150 project in the United States within 4 years, and to produce batteries for Volkswagen's MEB series of electric vehicles in the United States within 2 years. However, ITC's ruling on SK Innovation may also be overturned by Biden. The US government is reviewing the final ruling made by ITC on the 10th of last month, and Biden will decide whether to revoke ITC's ruling based on the results of the review. SK Innovation has previously warned that if Biden does not use the 60-day presidential review period to overturn this decision, it will be forced to stop building a $2.6 billion battery plant in Georgia. Last week, SK submitted a motion to the U.S. International Trade Commission requesting it not to implement the February ruling, calling these orders 'catastrophic.' 'The commission's order undermines the economic viability of SK's investment in battery production in Georgia and will cause the company to abandon this plan under reasonable and unavoidable circumstances,' SK said in a document.
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