SKC to invest to cement market leadership in chip, battery materials

2023.01.18 13:44:01 | 2023.03.03 14:33:01

A glass substrate is known to improve data processing performance by 40 percent compared to existing products. [Source : SKC]이미지 확대

A glass substrate is known to improve data processing performance by 40 percent compared to existing products. [Source : SKC]



SKC Co., a chemical unit of South Korea’s No. 2 conglomerate SK Group, plans to make aggressive investments in the field of rechargeable batteries and semiconductor materials this year to further widen its lead over rival companies.

The company made a bold decision to sell its mainstay film business last year to transform its business model towards high value-added products around rechargeable battery, semiconductor and eco-friendly materials.

“We decided to sell businesses with marginal growth to secure cash and realign ourselves to focus on battery materials, chemicals and semiconductor materials,” the company’s Chief Executive Officer Park Won-cheol recently told Maeil Business Newspaper at CES 2023.

SKC became the first Korean company to develop polyester film in 1977 and the first company in the world to commercialize biodegradable film in 2008.

Absolix Inc. is building a plant for glass substrate production in Covington near Atlanta, Georgia. [Source : SKC]이미지 확대

Absolix Inc. is building a plant for glass substrate production in Covington near Atlanta, Georgia. [Source : SKC]



The company’s semiconductor material business is led by its subsidiary Absolix Inc., which is building a plant for glass substrate production in Covington near Atlanta, Georgia.

SKC and Absolix will invest $240 million to complete the construction in 2024 and will have an annual capacity production of 12,000 square meters. The two companies also have a plan for capacity expansion to 72,000 square meters per year through a second-stage investment of $360 million.

Glass substrate is the world’s first commercialized product by SKC and it is engineered to realize the operation of high-performance computing chips capable of processing large amounts of data in a short time, which are essential for artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, VR/AR and 6G communication. A glass substrate is known to improve data processing performance by 40 percent compared to existing products.

SKC’s another focus is copper foil. The company has maintained its No. 1 position in the global copper foil market since 2020 when it acquired SK nexilis Co. SK nexilis has continued to expand production capacity and is currently running a facility with an annual capacity of 52,000 tons in Korea. It is also building factories in Malaysia and Poland.

By Lee Young-wook and Minu Kim

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