Warsaw, Poland/Seoul, Republic of Korea, May 25, 2023— To help build a robust electric vehicle (EV) value chain in Europe while generating hundreds of jobs in Poland, IFC is partnering with SK Hi-Tech Battery Materials Poland sp. z o.o. (SK Poland), a leading player in the global EV value chain and a subsidiary of Korea’s SK IE Technology Co., Ltd (SK IET).
As part of the partnership, IFC is arranging a $300 million green financing package to SK Poland, Europe’s first and largest lithium-ion battery separators (LiBS) producer. LiBS is a key component in lithium-ion batteries used in EVs. The financing package comprises a $200 million loan provided by IFC, along with an additional $30 million from Bank Pekao S.A., $20 million from Intesa Sanpaolo (IMI CIB Division) and $50 million from PKO Bank Polski S.A. IFC’s financing adheres to a green financing framework and meets the criteria of a green loan as per the Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles.
IFC’s loan package will fund the final two phases of SK Poland’s four-phase $1.7 billion investment program. The investment program will support the construction and expansion of SK Poland’s LiBS production facility in Poland, with the aim of meeting the surging demand for EV batteries in Europe. The facility is expected to fulfill at least 40 percent of the EU’s LiBS demand by 2025, accounting for roughly 70 percent of the anticipated total capacity in the European Union (EU).
With Poland emerging as a manufacturing hub for EV batteries in Europe, IFC’s investment will contribute to the green transition in the transportation sector and the EU’s climate neutrality objectives, the development of a more diversified and resilient EV value chain and the development of Poland’s leadership in electromobility-related manufacturing.
“SKIET has been anticipating its customers’ needs by strategically building and expanding our separator factories in Korea, China and Poland,” said Kim Cheol-jung, CEO of SKIET. “Through this landmark green loan from IFC, we will help consolidate the establishment of a global EV supply system and contribute to Poland’s green transition.”
Located in Dąbrowa Gόrnicza in Silesia, a region of Poland historically dependent on coal mining activities, the production facility will provide opportunities for job creation outside the mining industry, as the country progressively phases-out of coal in the next three decades.
“Electromobility is essential for achieving a green transition. We believe that this investment will support the development of a more diversified and resilient European electric vehicle (EV) value chain by enabling the production of a critical component in EV battery cells in Poland,” said Alfonso Garcia Mora, Vice President for Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean at IFC. “This project will help enhance manufacturing capabilities in Poland and upgrade the skill set of the country’s workforce.”
“The transition to net zero offers an unprecedented investment opportunity. IFC research shows that the demand for electric vehicle batteries in the EU alone will increase from 30 GWh currently to 1,300 GWh by 2035. Our impactful partnership with SK IET will help address this rapidly growing demand by building a more resilient regional electric vehicle value chain,” said Riccardo Puliti, IFC’s Regional Vice President for Asia and the Pacific, at a signing ceremony in Seoul. “We are keen to work with Korean innovators like SKIET to transfer technological know-how and scale up climate actions in emerging markets.”
Over the past decade, IFC has provided financing for projects worth over $7 billion involving Korean companies and banks as sponsors and partners.