SK Innovation and Ford finalized a joint venture dubbed BlueOvalSK earlier this year, which paves the way for a rather substantial partnership that will lead to the construction of BlueOvalSK Battery Park and the production of batteries for all-electric vehicles. SK has since spun off its own battery division into SK On and continues to invest heavily in that area, including a whopping $22 billion for the U.S. alone and various additional investments into other endeavors both domestic and in other parts of the world. Now, that trend continues, as SK On just announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Australia’s Global Lithium Resources.
“This MOU with Global Lithium will strategically support SKO’s global production and help explore potential business opportunities,” said Jinsuk Ryu, Vice President at SK On. “I believe that both parties will support each other to help accelerate the growth of business and cooperate further to explore potential opportunities in the EV supply chain.”
The deal would give SK potential investment, funding, and offtake opportunities in Global Lithium Resources’ lithium assets as it works to secure the materials it needs to continue to ramp up EV battery production, as the two companies have agreed to explore future business opportunities together in regard to a stable supply of lithium, a critical raw material used in many batteries. Currently, Australia is the world’s largest lithium producer and a major producer of other key battery minerals like nickel and cobalt.
“I am extremely excited that Global Lithium has signed this MOU with Korea’s SK On, a leading manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for the automotive industry on a global scale,” said Ron Mitchell, Managing Director at Global Lithium. “The scope of this partnership has the potential to strengthen and diversify the future of Global Lithium’s projects in Western Australia both in the near term and in the years ahead.”
It’s unclear how this move might impact the Ford EV battery supply, but given the positive relationship between the two companies, it seems likely to benefit the automaker in some way, shape, or form.