SK Innovation invests to build two additional battery separator plants in Poland

by John Shepherd
SK IE Technology’s separator plants under construction in Silesia, Poland. Photo: SKIET
SK IE Technology (SKIET), the subsidiary of battery cells company SK Innovation, will build two additional lithium-ion battery separator plants at its manufacturing complex being developed in Poland, at an investment cost of KRW 1.13tn (about £650m).

Construction of the South Korean company's new plants in Silesia, which will have a combined capacity of 860m sq metres annually, is scheduled to start in the third quarter of this year. Production is slated to start by the end of 2023.

The decision to build plants three and four represents one of SKIET’s largest single investment decisions to date. All four separator plants in Poland will eventually produce a combined total capacity of 1.54bn sq metres per year.

The first Poland plant will start production later this year, followed by the second in the first quarter of 2023.

EV batteries demand

SKIET’s overall global separator production capacity, including its plants in China and South Korea, will be about 2.73bn sq metres by 2024.

The company said its new investment was part of "pre-emptive measures” being taken in anticipation of accelerating demand from the rapidly-growing electric vehicles batteries market.

SKIET expects the global separator market, which it said was around 4bn sq metres in 2020, to increase to around 16bn sq metres by 2025.

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SK Innovation to expand planned lithium-ion battery separator production capacity in Poland