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SK Innovation moots battery-as-a-service idea

Jan 30,2020
SK Innovation will increase investments into its battery and materials businesses as it pushes into more eco-friendly segments and away from traditional areas, like petroleum production and refining, the chief of the energy and chemical company said on Wednesday.

“SK Innovation will continue to expand investment into battery and materials businesses, which have a great potential for growth and go hand in hand with the notion of ‘green business,’” said Kim Jun, CEO of SK Innovation, in an interview with the unit’s own news channel.

The remarks are in line with a series of major investments that the company made into electric vehicle batteries and lightweight materials.

The company head also shared his vision of creating a comprehensive business model with a series of platforms handling all processes, from manufacturing batteries to recycling.

“Above all, we plan to enter a new area called ‘Battery as a Service,’ where the processes of battery making and recycling are covered by connected platforms,” Kim said.

To solidify the shift in focus, a change in name is being contemplated.

“We are in a discussion to rename some subsidiaries, if necessary, to represent a new identity and business focus,” Kim said.

The companies being considered for name changes include SK Energy, SK Lubricants and SK Global Chemical.

SK Innovation has tapped into the electric vehicle (EV) battery sector in recent years by adding plants for rechargeable batteries.

It announced a 1 trillion won ($848 million) investment to build its second car battery plant in the United States during the CES trade show in Las Vagas this month.

The company has already invested 1.9 trillion won to build an EV battery plant with a capacity of 9.8 gigawatt hours in Jackson County, Georgia.

At CES, SK Innovation showcased lightweight materials, lubricants optimized for EVs and flexible displays, citing them as key growth engines.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]