SK Group subsidiary company, SKC, and several business partners will manufacture glass-based substrates for semiconductor chips in Covington, Georgia. The company will invest more than $473 million in this unprecedented venture and will create more than 400 new jobs in Newton County.
“This announcement is a prime example of Georgia being at the forefront of addressing one of our nation’s most pressing supply chain roadblocks, which has affected so many U.S. manufacturers,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “This decision by SKC speaks not only to the success they have found since first locating in Georgia, but also to the shared commitment we have in creating bold, innovative solutions right here in our state. Georgia’s workforce is trained, skilled, and ready to excel in the jobs of the future.”
A ceremonial Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the State of Georgia and SKC solidifying the project and location. After various related work in multiple countries, Dr. Sung Jin Kim, SKC Director of New Business Development, served as a research professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the Georgia Institute of Technology from 2012-2015. Professor Kim helped develop this glass substrate technology through research conducted at Georgia Tech Packaging Research Center by working with the Center Team and global semiconductor supply chain companies.
Founded in 1976 as a specialty material company, SKC has consistently expanded its businesses areas through continuous innovation. The company established itself in Newton County, Georgia, in 1996. Since that time, the facility has become one of the major Polyester films (PET film) producers in North America, providing high-quality, environmentally friendly service as a base-film market leader. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the facility also pivoted manufacturing to produce face shields and other PPE safety products.
“SKC strived to develop innovative technology solutions by working with major U.S.-based semiconductor players for many years. The initial scientific research outcomes at Georgia Tech greatly inspired our disruptive, glass-based semiconductor solutions,” said Dr. Sung Jin Kim, SKC Director of New Business Development. “Our new technology will be key in enabling utmost performance with minimal power consumptions for high-performance computing, as well as for high-speed communication applications, and this technology is scalable for many other technology needs. Georgia will be a basecamp for SKC’s AI and high-speed data center semiconductor applications.”
This new facility will be developed on the SKC property, located at 3000 SKC Drive in Covington. The company will primarily be hiring high-tech engineers, skilled technicians, and other semiconductor field-experienced talent. The company expects to ramp up production by late summer 2023.
“Since the 1996 headquarters announcement, SK has been an integral business in Newton County’s business mix. SK is a key community partner through their commitment to service and education locally,” said Lanier Sims, Chairman of the Newton County Industrial Development Authority. “SK is truly a pioneer that we are honored to have a long-term relationship with Newton County. The Industrial Development Authority is grateful for this announcement, and we believe this is a continuation of strong partnership and perseverance together.”
“Since its founding, Georgia Tech has been a powerful engine of economic development and technological innovation in our state,” said Ángel Cabrera, President of Georgia Tech. “We’re delighted that Georgia Tech’s investment in packaging research and advanced circuitry over the last 25-30 years has contributed to Georgia’s selection as the best place for the company to manufacture their state-of-the-art semiconductor technology. We look forward to further collaboration so we can work together to lead the region in developing the best engineering talent to work in this crucially important field.”
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Director of Korean Investment Yoonie Kim represented the Global Commerce division on this competitive project in partnership with the Newton County Industrial Development Authority, Georgia Power, Georgia Quick Start, the University System of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and the Georgia Research Alliance.
“Georgia Tech is one of the premier research universities in the world and always on the forefront of leading-edge technologies and innovation. This announcement is a prime example of how investments into our academic assets not only drive economic development in Georgia, but can also contribute to finding solutions to global problems,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “SKC’s investment in Newton County, Georgia, will directly support the desperately needed domestic manufacturing of semiconductors. It also speaks to the level of commitment Georgia brings to the table and the assets we provide companies seeking success here. To be able to announce that SK Group, one of the first Korean investors in Georgia, is once again choosing to do business here is yet another testament to the thriving relationship between our countries. Congratulations to all of our economic development partners involved.”
SK Group is one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea, and this facility will be the third major investment by SK Group in the State of Georgia. In addition to the SKC location in Covington, and SK Innovation is investing nearly $2.6 billion in developing two battery manufacturing facilities in Jackson County to supply electric vehicles.
Since its founding in 1976, SKC has achieved many firsts in Korea and worldwide through tackling challenges and seeking innovations. SKC’s milestones include being the first in Korea to develop Polyester films for solar cells (PET film) in 1977 and the first to commercialize Propylene Oxide (PO) products in 1991, as well as being the world’s first to commercialize the eco-friendly Hydrogen Peroxide to Propylene Oxide (HPPO) process in 2008 and to commercialize biodegradable film in 2009. SKC is reinventing itself as a high value-added materials company centered on rechargeable batteries, semiconductors, and eco-friendly materials. The company is expanding its business to copper foil and next-generation cathode/anode materials for rechargeable batteries and has developed the world’s first glass substrate technology for high-performance semiconductors, following high-end blank masks and CMP pads, which are key materials for semiconductor manufacturing.