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SK On Reveals Details For $5B, 3.3M SF Battery Plant In Northwest Georgia

A battery plant being planned in Cartersville, Georgia, is expected to need its own county-provided wastewater treatment plant and have an annual $40M economic impact on its surrounding area, according to newly filed public documents.

Hyundai's Ioniq 5 EV model, one of the vehicle lines that SK Innovation will produce batteries for.

SK On, the battery division of South Korean energy giant SK Innovation, filed a Development of Regional Impact application with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Tuesday, revealing new details about its plans for a battery-making facility in rural Bartow County.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced in December that SK and Hyundai Motor Group have agreed to build a battery plant at Bartow Centre, an industrial site located some 50 miles north of Downtown Atlanta. SK says that the total estimated value of its facility will come to $5B, and it projects to generate $40M in annual tax revenue.

Bartow County is planning to construct a water treatment facility with 2 miles of new sewer lines to service the 3.3M SF plant, which SK expects to produce a million gallons of sewage a day, according to the application. The factory could produce 2,200 tons of solid waste a year, much of it in “liquid form as a result of the battery production process."

“This waste will be contained on site and transported to a permitted receiving facility,” the application read.

SK is developing the plant to supply Hyundai with batteries for its electric vehicles made in the U.S. The facility, once opened in 2025, will employ 3,500 people and consume 3.6 million gallons of water daily, according to the application.

The SK factory is one of the big economic development wins for Kemp, who has positioned the state as a hub of the burgeoning EV industry. The segment made up 10% of global vehicle sales in 2022, a faster rate of sales growth than previously predicted.

Startup EV makers like Duckyang, GEDIA Automotive Group and TEKLAS USA in Georgia have cemented plans to build factories, while legacy automakers are building or converting plants in the Southeast to usher in their own EVs, such as Ford's EV plant plans in Tennessee and Kentucky, Volkswagen in Chattanooga and GM's planned Tennessee plant conversion. 

SK already operates a battery plant in Commerce, employing more than 2,000 people. In all, the EV industry has produced 22,800 jobs in Georgia, according to a state press release. Companies have committed to $17B in EV-related projects in the state since 2020, including a new $5.5B Hyundai Motor Group factory in Bryan County.