SK On signs MOU with ExxonMobil for lithium offtake in US

SK On, a leading global electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer, signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ExxonMobil for a potential lithium offtake agreement in the United States as part of its efforts to strengthen the battery supply chain in the region.

Under the MOU, SK On can explore a multi-year agreement that allows the company to secure up to 100,000 metric tons of lithium from ExxonMobil’s project in Arkansas. Further details, including the contract period and the supply volume, will be discussed at a later stage.

Through the MOU, SK On seeks to have a stable sourcing of key battery minerals in the US where the company is expanding its presence. SK On plans to use the lithium from ExxonMobil in its battery plants in the US.

SK On, part of South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate SK Group, currently operates two EV battery plants in Commerce, Ga. The company is also building three battery plants in the US with Ford Motor Co. BlueOval SK, the joint venture between SK On and Ford, plans to operate two battery plants in Glendale, Ky., and one factory in Stanton, Tenn.

SK On is also building an EV battery plant in Bartow County, Ga., through a joint venture with Hyundai Motor Group. After 2025, the annual production capacity of SK On in the US alone is expected to reach more than 180 GWh—enough to power about 1.7 million EVs a year.

For ExxonMobil, the offtake MOU can contribute to its goal of supplying lithium for more than one million EV batteries annually by 2030 and support the US initiative to build out a domestic EV supply chain.

Planned production of Mobil Lithium will use ExxonMobil’s core capabilities in subsurface exploration, drilling, and chemical processing, offering US EV battery manufacturers a more secure, lower-carbon lithium supply option.

ExxonMobil has successfully produced lithium carbonate from the Smackover formation in southern Arkansas through the appraisal drilling program and technology pilot using Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology. The project will extract lithium from underground saltwater deposits and convert it into battery-grade material onsite in Arkansas. This approach aims to produce lithium more efficiently and with fewer environmental impacts than traditional hard rock mining.

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