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SK Siltron gets $544M conditional loan commitment from DOE for EV electronics

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday morning announced a $544 million loan offer to a South Korean company to build an electric vehicle components plant in Michigan.

Why it matters: The offer underscores the DOE's determination to establish a domestic manufacturing base for the U.S. energy transition.

What's happening: South Korea's SK Siltron CSS is aiming to build a production plant in Bay City, Michigan, that would manufacture silicon carbide wafers.

  • Such wafers are used in EV power electronics, such as drivetrains and onboard chargers, per the Energy Department.
  • "High-quality wafers are currently under-supplied, and demand is expected to rise with EV sales," the agency said in its announcement.

Of note: SK Siltron CSS is a U.S. subsidiary of South Korean industrial giants SK Siltron and the SK Group.

  • SK companies are playing a prominent role in the U.S. energy transition, particularly around supplying battery and EV components.

The latest: The announcement today from the Energy Department's Loan Programs Office reflects a significant though not final step in securing the $544 million, an offer the agency calls a conditional commitment.

  • SK will need to meet certain technical, financial and other conditions before it can receive the loan via the agency's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.

What's next: The plant, if built, would create about 200 manufacturing jobs at full capacity, according to the DOE.

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