Electric Vehicle Plant in Georgia Gets Word on Whether it Will Keep 2,500 Jobs Going

 

Georgia officials announced Sunday that SK Innovation will continue to operate its battery manufacturing plant in Jackson County, thus saving 2,600 jobs.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced the news in an emailed statement.

“The announcement of a settlement between SK innovation and LG Energy Solution is fantastic news for northeast Georgia and our state’s growing electric vehicle industry,” Kemp said.

“Our state attracted this massive $2.6 billion investment because of Georgia’s pro-growth leadership, and I have personally participated in countless meetings, calls, and other conversations to make sure this project and the 2,600 expected jobs continued to move forward. I want to offer a special thank you to local leadership in Jackson County and the city of Commerce, our incredible partners with the government of South Korea both here and in Seoul, as well as the Office of the United States Trade Representative for assisting the two companies through the settlement negotiations process.”

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Pat Wilson, in his own press release, said he was “ecstatic.”

“When fully operational, SK’s new battery plant in Commerce, Georgia, will not only provide clean energy jobs for thousands of Georgians, changing lives and livelihoods across the region, but will also help the United States continue to become a leader in electric mobility,” Wilson said.

“Georgia’s incredible economic development success continues to gain momentum, and we remain 100 percent committed to developing the entire electric vehicle supply chain right here in our state. We look forward to the thousands of direct and indirect jobs this and other future projects will bring as we fulfill our mission of creating opportunities for Georgians.”

As The Georgia Star News reported, U.S. President Joe Biden had until Sunday to decide this week whether to overturn an International Trade Commission ruling against SK Innovation and, thus, save thousands of jobs in northeast Georgia.

SK Innovation is based out of South Korea.

As reported, the ITC issued a decision preventing SKI from importing battery parts and components for 10 years. This is subject to a limited exception to allow the company to produce batteries at the plant for Ford for four years and VW for two years. SKI has told Georgia officials that the ITC ruling will make it impossible for the plant to have economic viability and, absent action by Biden to disapprove the ITC ruling, SKI will have to shutter the Commerce facility.

Kemp, in a letter to Biden, said this plant “represents the largest foreign investment in my state’s history at nearly $2.6 billion.”

“The plant’s initial yearly output will supply 22 GWh of EV battery capacity, which is enough battery capacity for 330,000 electric cars and there are plans for it to expand to employ more than 6,000 workers and produce 50 GWh annually by 2025,” Kemp said in the letter.

“The factory is owned by the Korean company, SK Innovation (“SKI”), and will be the only major EV battery plant in the nation to have been built without federal subsidies.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “SK Innovation – Georgia” by SK Innovation.

 

 

 

 

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