SK Innovation considers electric car battery factory in China

SEOUL, April 20 (Reuters) - SK Innovation Co Ltd on Wednesday said it is considering building electric vehicle batteries in China, joining the race by South Korean firms to build capacity in the world’s top EV market.

The owner South Korea’s biggest oil refiner also said it continued to look to acquire new unconventional assets such as U.S shale fields.

A decision on a China plant would be made this year, it said. SK Innovation already runs an electric vehicle battery joint venture with China’s Beijing Automotive Group and Beijing Electronics.

Rival South Korean battery makers LG Chem and Samsung SDI started production in China last year, as the country promotes electric vehicles to cut smog.

SK Innovation also said that for its petrochemical business it would invest more in non-commodity products and the China market by forming joint ventures with global partners.

“We will seize good opportunities and grow our business,” Chief Executive Chung Chul-khil said in a statement, noting that U.S. shale firms have suffered from low oil prices and oversupply. ($1 = 1,129.8000 won) (Reporting by Rebecca Jang and Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Stephen Coates)