Samsung SDI Plans to Build Electric Vehicle Battery Plant in Illinois, Says US Senator

South Korean company Samsung SDI plans to build a battery plant in central Illinois, Senator Dick Durbin told reporters on Thursday.

Durbin said Samsung was in talks to build a battery plant in Normal, Ill., from a video of the press conference published on the website of the newspaper Pantagraph. EV startup Rivian has a factory in Normal and said in April that Samsung SDI would supply battery cells for its vehicles.

“We are competing for a major installation of Samsung batteries. The delegation arrived from Korea this week. I spoke to them and others did too,” Durbin said. “This Samsung facility will hopefully be located next to Rivian. That decision has not been made. Having this battery facility will also create thousands of jobs.”

Last month, Reuters announced that Samsung SDI, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, could build a battery cell factory in the United States. Reuters also reported that Samsung SDI is in talks to supply batteries made at a potential U.S. factory with electric vehicle makers including Stellantis and Rivian, which is backed by Amazon and Ford.

The South Korean battery maker plans to invest at least KRW 3 trillion (around Rs. 19,050 crore) to manufacture batteries for Stellantis and a minimum of KRW 1 trillion (around Rs. 6,350 crore) for the batteries. Rivian batteries, according to the source.

The source added that Samsung SDI has yet to decide whether to launch the US plant as a joint venture with automakers or as an independent manufacturing site.

Samsung SDI officials recently took business trips to Detroit to discuss battery supply issues with Stellantis, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Samsung SDI has electric vehicle battery factories in South Korea, China and Hungary, which supply customers such as BMW, Ford, Volvo and Volkswagen.

Samsung and Durbin’s office did not immediately comment on Thursday. Rivian declined to comment.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Rivian was in talks to invest at least $ 5 billion (roughly Rs. 37,140 crore) in a new vehicle plant near Fort Worth, Texas, according to a city document. Durbin also said he expected Rivian to expand in Illinois and create more jobs.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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