The SK Group, South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate, announced Tuesday that it will spend $22 billion in the United States to fund semiconductor, green energy and bioscience projects.
The investments will expand SK’s American workforce from 4,000 to 20,000 by 2025, President Biden said at a White House event with SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-Won to detail the plan.
“This is a big deal,” Mr. Biden said in a virtual appearance at the event because he is still isolated after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.
“This path-breaking announcement represents clear evidence that the United States, Korea, and its allies are back and winning the technology competition of the 21st century,” Mr. Biden said.
The $22 billion investment is on top of the SK Group’s previously announced plans to spend $7 billion to build lithium battery plants to power electric cars in Tennessee and Kentucky as part of a joint venture with the Ford Motor Co.
The funds are part of SK’s plan to invest $52 billion in the United States through 2030. Companies under the SK Group’s umbrella include SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest memory-chip maker, and SK Innovation, the parent of South Korea’s largest oil refiner and battery maker SK On.
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“We believe these initiatives will contribute to strengthening the U.S. supply chain resilience and address climate chain,” Mr. Chey said.
SK Group will invest $15 billion in the semiconductor industry through the construction of an advanced packaging and testing facility, which it says will be the first of its kind for advanced memory semiconductors.
The conglomerate will spend an additional $5 billion to develop green energy businesses, including faster electric-vehicle charging systems, green hydrogen production, battery materials, and recycling.
SK Group will also invest several billions of dollars in biotechnologies to develop new drugs that will enhance the competitiveness of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry.