Battery manufacturer SK Innovation is leaving open the possibility of another $5 billion investment in Georgia.
The South Korean company, which produces lithium batteries for vehicles, had already announced its plans to create 2,000 jobs in Jackson County, but on Friday the company’s CEO said SK Innovation is considering additional investments for up to $5 billion in the coming years. The first phase of construction is expected to start early this year.
Jun Kim, CEO and president of SK Innovation, said the company was looking forward to working in Georgia and hoped to also boost the state’s auto industry.
“We were impressed by the state’s vision for growth through business development,” he said through a translator at the Capitol on Friday morning.
John Scott, the director of economic development for the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce, said the first two phases of the investment, which includes the plant, is expected to be done by 2026. Expansions to the plant could bring additional investments later, he said.
SK Innovation also agreed to donate $60,000 to the Empower College and Career Center, a charter high school in Jackson County scheduled to begin operating in 2021. The Jackson County Development Authority will match that funding and donate $60,000 to Commerce City Schools.
“In addition to its impact on the local tax base and the Commerce City Schools, SK will elevate the quality of life for the citizens of Commerce and our entire region of the state,” Clark Hill, Mayor of Commerce, said in a statement. “We are so thankful that SK chose Commerce and I look forward to a great partnership with them.”
Tom Crow, chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, said that the relationship between the community and SK Innovation was beneficial for both.
“We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship, for their company and for our county,” Crow said.
SK Innovation’s $1.67 billion plant will be at Commerce 85 Business Park. As of 2018, the company’s investment was the largest-ever economic development project announced for Jackson County.