SEOUL: SKC Inc, the chemical unit of South Korean conglomerate SK Group, said Monday it will spend US$620 million (700 billion won) to build its first overseas manufacturing factory for copper foil, one of the key materials for electric vehicle batteries, in Malaysia, reported Yonhap.
SKC and its copper foil-making unit, SK Nexilis Co, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Malaysian government to build the facility in Kota Kinabalu, the capital city in the east Malaysian state Sabah.
The company said it will break ground in the latter half of this year and start commercial production at the Malaysian factory with an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes in 2023.
SK Nexilis, which currently produces 34,000 tonnes a year, is considering building more plants in Europe and the United States, and expanding local output to more than quintuple its production by 2025 to meet growing demand from lithium-ion battery makers, SKC said.
In 2019, SKC took over KCFT, the world’s No. 1 maker of copper foil, for US$1.06 billion (1.2 trillion won) and renamed it SK Nexilis to target the rising EV market.
Copper foil is as thin as 1/15 of human hair and is used as an anode current collector of the secondary battery cell.