Korean battery-parts supplier to open plant in Jackson County

A South Korean automotive group is building a $1.7 billion battery plant in Jackson County, one of the largest single economic development projects in the state’s history Gov. Brian Kemp and was among those present at a groundbreaking in 2019. Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

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A South Korean automotive group is building a $1.7 billion battery plant in Jackson County, one of the largest single economic development projects in the state’s history Gov. Brian Kemp and was among those present at a groundbreaking in 2019. Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

Georgia has recruited another South Korean company to the state, this time a maker of parts for batteries used in electric cars.

Enchem will build two facilities in Jackson County, where it will make electrolytes used in rechargeable batteries, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office announced on Wednesday. The project, which state officials described as a $61 million investment, will create about 300 jobs.

The Enchem factories will supply products to SK Innovation, another South Korean company that's building a separate, $1.7 billion plant near Commerce in Jackson County, where it will make lithium-ion batteries.

“This is exactly the type of quality project that we hoped to attract when visiting Korea on our first international trip last June,” Kemp said in a news release.

Kemp’s office did not disclose the exact location of the Enchem facilities, or the reasons for building two plants. John Scott, economic development director for Jackson County, could not be reached for comment.

Marie Hodge Gordon, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, said the state’s tax incentive agreement with Enchem is still being negotiated. Enchem is headquartered in the South Korean province of Chungbuk.

SK Innovation, which began work on its 2.4 million square-foot factory in March, received one of the largest tax-incentive packages in state history, totaling $300 million in grants, tax credits and free land. SK Innovation expects the plant, located along Interstate 85, to be at full capacity by 2025.

SK Innovation sells its batteries to Kia Motors, which builds vehicles in West Point, Ga.; and to Volkswagen, which operates a manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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