South Korea’s SK Group aims to nurture vehicle battery and green energy sectors as its new growth engines amid a slump in the oil industry following a free fall in oil prices.
The conglomerate’s all-out focus particularly on the vehicle battery business is expected to add more competition in the industry that is already dominated by other top conglomerates including Samsung and LG.
Last week, SK Group announced that it has selected the so-called new energy as its next core business and it will set up a separate team devoted to fostering the specific sector. The new team will be led by Yoo Jung-Joon, chief executive of SK E&S, the group’s energy unit.
New energy ranges from renewable energy such as solar and wind power, to environment-friendly power plants, to efficient use of energy sources, to carbon footprint reduction, and to the development of vehicle batteries and the energy storage system (ESS).
Other energy businesses that aim at cutting fossil fuel use or replacing traditional energy sources are also included in the boundary of new energy.
SK Group with its primary energy business built on the oil industry has decided to nurture new energy as its new growth engine amid a slump in the oil industry and growing global demand for green energy. Industry analysts note that from a mid- to long-term perspective, the conglomerate needs a new growth engine that could replace its existing energy business.
Analysts expect SK Group to continue to strengthen its existing battery business on top of investing in eco-friendly power plants and promoting energy efficiency.
SK Innovation Co. is currently engaged in producing electric vehicle batteries and separators for lithium-ion batteries, a core component of lithium-ion secondary cells. SK D&D Co., a subsidiary of SK Gas Co., also commercially operates a 78,000 megawatt wind power plant in Gasiri in Jeju.
It has plans to build an additional wind power facility in Gunwi and Uiseong in North Gyeongsang, by 2020.