SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) — SK Innovation Co., a South Korean refinery-to-battery company, plans to raise 1.09 trillion won (US$1 billion) of “green loans” to expand its electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing capacity in the United States, according to its website Wednesday.

SK battery America Inc., the Korean firm’s U.S. subsidiary, will use the green loan, a type of loan instrument for eco-friendly projects, to build the second EV battery plant in Georgia, the company said on its English news channel.

The new loan will be an extension of $670 million of green financing injected in SK battery America last year, the company said.

In March 2019, SK Innovation broke ground on its first EV battery production line in Georgia with a $1.67 billion investment.

To handle rising demand for EV batteries, SK Innovation in July started building a second factory at the complex with an additional investment of $940 million, with a goal of starting manufacturing in 2023.

SK Innovation said its first plant in Georgia is 90 percent complete and ready for pilot production in the first half of this year.

The two plants in the U.S. are expected to have a total annual capacity of 21.5 gigawatt hours, which is enough to power more than 300,000 electric vehicles, it noted.

SK Innovation shipped 6.5 GWh equivalents of EV batteries in the first 11 months of 2020, accounting for 5.5 percent of the global market and taking fifth place, according to SNE Research.

SK Innovation’s electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. state of Georgia is shown in this photo provided by the South Korean battery maker on Aug. 28, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)