COVINGTON — SKC in Covington and several business partners have announced plans to manufacture glass-based substrates for semiconductor chips at SKC’s Covington manufacturing campus on SKC Drive.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced the $473 million first-of-its kind venture Thursday morning, Oct. 28. The project is expected to 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 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.”

The new facility will be developed on the SKC property, located at 3000 SKC Drive. 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.

Dr. Sung Jin Kim, director of New Business Development for SKC, worked in several countries in related projects before becoming a research professor at Georgia Tech from 2012 to 2015. During his time at Tech, Kim helped develop this glass substrate technology through research conducted at the Georgia Tech Packaging Research Center, working with the Center team and global semiconductor supply chain companies.

“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 Kim. “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.”

Founded in 1976 as a specialty material company, SKC has consistently expanded its business areas through innovation. The company established itself in Newton County in 1996. Since that time, the facility has become one of the major polyester film (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.

“Since the 1996 headquarters announcement, SK has been an integral business in Newton County’s business mix,” said Lanier Sims, chairman of the Newton County Industrial Development Authority. “SK is a key community partner through their commitment to service and education locally. SK is truly a pioneer that we are honored to have a long-term relationship with in 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, and Georgia Tech.

“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.”

Serra Hall, executive director of the Newton Industrial Development Authority, said the success of bringing the SKC expansion to Newton County was a long-time work in progress.

“The dedication and vision by the SK team are unmatched,” said Hall. “We are grateful for their commitment to our community and the state of Georgia. This project has been in the works for many years, and to have the project finally call Covington home is a huge success. SK is incredibly important to the fabric of our community. They are pioneers for education and supportive when the community calls.”

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.

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I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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