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South Korean battery manufacturer SK On said it was raising its planned investment in Yancheng in China’s Jiangsu province to KRW3trn (US$2.5bn) to build an additional electric vehicle (EV) battery production plant, according to local reports.

Construction of the new factory, which would be the company’s largest and first wholly-owned production facility in the country, was scheduled to start early in 2022.

It would have an initial production capacity of 10 gigawatt hours (GWh) of batteries per year.

SK’s three other Chinese factories have a combined annual production capacity of 27 gigawatt hours (GWh).

The Changzhou factory is a deal with Beijing Automobile Works while the Hiuzhou plant is a joint venture with Chinese battery maker EVE Energy.

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By GlobalData

SK On was also strengthening its EV battery manufacturing presence in Hungary and earlier this year agreed to build three new EV battery plants in the US, with a combined annual production capacity of 129 GWh planned by 2027, to supply Ford.

SK On said it aimed to have a global production capacity of over 500GWh of batteries per year by 2030, up from the current 40GWh.

SK On said last week it had an order backlog of about 1.6 terawatt hours of batteries, worth KRW220 trillion, which could power about 23m electric vehicles.

SK Innovation is the world’s sixth largest battery cell manufacturer and has around 40GWh of production capacity with plants in South Korea, China, the United States and Hungary.

By 2023, the capacity is to increase to 85GWh and, by 2025, to 200GWh. By 2030, SK Innovation wants to be able to produce 500GWh.

The company supplies its electric car batteries to Ford, Volkswagen and Hyundai Motor.