SKC, a chemical and material affiliate of SK Group, will invest 650 billion won in building its first overseas copper foil plant in Malaysia. Thin copper foil is a key material for production of electric vehicle batteries
SKC announced on Jan. 26 that it will build the copper foil plant in Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia for its subsidiary SK Nexilis. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 44,000 tons. Ground will be broken in the first half of 2021 with a goal of beginning its commercial operation in 2023.
SK Nexilis is currently running four plants in Jeongeup, North Jeolla Province in Korea, which have a combined annual production capacity of 34,000 tons. When the construction of Plants 5 and 6 in Jeongeup are completed in the second half of 2021 and early 2022, respectively, its production capacity will climb to 52,000 tons. When the Malaysian plant goes online, SK Nexilis’ total copper foil production capacity will reach nearly 100,000 tons, three times higher than the current level.
Kota Kinabalu, which is known as a popular tourist destination for Koreans, is located in the northern part of Borneo Island. As SK Nexilis decided to build the plant there, its dispute with Iljin Group, another Korean business group engaged in copper foil production, over the location of the plant has come to an end. Iljin Materials, a copper foil subsidiary of Iljin Group, has a copper foil plant in Sarawak, Borneo which went into operations in January 2020.
When news broke out that SK Nexilis was planning to build a plant in Sarawak, Iljin Group strongly protested against the plan as it could lose its manpower to SK Nexilis. Iljin’s concern was eased as SKC chose Kota Kinabalu, which is about 1,000 kilometers away from Sarawak.
SK Nexilis is planning to invest in Europe and the United States as well as Malaysia to ramp up its copper foil production capacity more than five times by 2025.
Source from Business Korea