SK On signs MOU with ExxonMobil for lithium offtake in U.S.
2024.06.26 | SKinno News

■ Agreement opens door for SK On to secure U.S.-produced lithium

■ SK On boosts efforts to strengthen U.S. battery supply chain


SK On, a leading global electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer, announced today it signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ExxonMobil for a potential lithium offtake agreement in the United States as part of its efforts to strengthen the battery supply chain in the region.

Under the MOU, SK On can explore a multi-year agreement that allows the company to secure up to 100,000 metric tons of lithium from ExxonMobil’s project in Arkansas. Further details, including the contract period and the supply volume, will be discussed at a later stage.

The MOU was signed on the sidelines of Fastmarkets Lithium Supply and Battery Raw Materials Conference in Las Vegas on June 24th.

Through the MOU, SK On seeks to have a stable sourcing of key battery minerals in the U.S. where the company is expanding its presence. SK On plans to use the lithium from ExxonMobil for its battery plants in the U.S.

SK On, part of South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate SK Group, currently operates two EV battery plants in Commerce, Georgia. The company is also building three battery plants in the U.S. with Ford Motor Co. BlueOval SK, the joint venture between SK On and Ford, plans to operate two battery plants in Glendale, Kentucky, and one factory in Stanton, Tennessee.

SK On is also building an EV battery plant in Bartow County, Georgia, through a joint venture with Hyundai Motor Group. After 2025, the annual production capacity of SK On in the U.S. alone is expected to reach more than 180 GWh, which is enough to power about 1.7 million EVs a year.

For ExxonMobil, the offtake MOU can contribute to its goal of supplying lithium for more than one million EV batteries annually by 2030 and support the U.S. initiative to build out a domestic EV supply chain.

ExxonMobil has successfully produced lithium carbonate from the Smackover formation in southern Arkansas through the appraisal drilling program and technology pilot using Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology. The project will extract lithium from underground saltwater deposits and convert it into battery-grade material onsite in Arkansas. This approach aims to produce lithium more efficiently and with fewer environmental impacts than traditional hard rock mining.

“The world needs more lithium to support its emissions goals, and we’re doing our part to drive solutions forward in the United States,” said Dan Ammann, President of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions. “This collaboration with SK On demonstrates the leading role we play in the growing market for domestically sourced lithium, advancing energy security and climate objectives, as well as supporting American manufacturing.”

“SK On has been working with global partners to secure key battery raw materials in a move to support our growing U.S. manufacturing base and lead electrification in the region,” said Park Jong-jin, Executive Vice President of Strategic Procurement at SK On. “Through this partnership with Exxon Mobil, we will continue strengthening battery supply chain in the U.S.”


[Photo] Dan Holton (left), Senior Vice President with ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, and Park Jong-jin (right), Executive Vice President of Strategic Procurement at SK On, mark the signing of an MoU between the two companies in Las Vegas. SK On plans to explore opportunities to secure lithium from ExxonMobil in the U.S.


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