The Korea Herald


SK chief underscores cooperation in battery ecosystem

By Song Su-hyun

Published : Feb. 19, 2021 - 13:57

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won on Friday underscored the importance of cooperation among players in the lithium-ion battery industry during a webinar hosted by the group’s foundation.

During the online seminar hosted by the Chey Institute for Advanced Studies, the chairman attributed the recent success of the battery industry to “the longtime cooperation among researchers from the academia and industry.”

“Such cooperation is crucial to expand the battery ecosystem in terms of developing new battery materials and utilize dead batteries,” he said.

This was the first time the SK chief spoke about the battery business, a field the conglomerate has identified as a new growth engine.

It was also the first remark made by the group leader after its affiliate SK Innovation, which is in charge of the battery business, lost a legal battle in the United States against its domestic rival LG Energy Solution on allegations of trade secret infringement.

The chairman did not mention the LG-SK litigation in his speech.

However, some industry watchers have predicted that Chey could propose a settlement with LG at the group level before he is inaugurated as the head of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry next month.

LG is demanding 2.5 trillion ($2.3 billion) to 3 trillion won in compensation, while SK is preparing less than 1 trillion won.

“Battery is the core engine of future innovation,” Chey said. “SK Group is seeking to explore new challenges and opportunities.”

The Chey Institute was established to mark the 20th anniversary of the passing of former SK founder Chey Jong-hyon.

The Friday webinar, centered on discussions about the future of battery technology and materials, invited renowned speakers such as 2019 Nobel Laureate M. Stanley Whittingham.

By Song Su-hyun (