Jackson County’s economic development director and vice president of the chamber of commerce, will be part of a state trip to Europe and Hungary in December.

John Scott, who has worked for Jackson County since August 2018, will go on the trip. He said Friday members of the tour will visit the SK battery plant in Hungary.

He said the group members also expect to talk with SK executives about suppliers to the battery plant being built in Commerce.

He said the tour is state-sponsored and will be led by Pat Wilson, the Georgia commissioner for the Department of Economic Development.

He also reported to the county’s Industrial Development Authority Friday that the work “continues to move forward” at the SK site.

SK Battery American is expected to have two buildings, each about 1 million square feet, at the site. Grading on more than 100 acres is nearly done and the first building is under construction.

Scott said Jackson County has talked to a number of SK suppliers.

One supplier, "Project Bloom," has been looking in the Commerce area and has talked to the county for about six months, Scott said. A decision could come from the company this month, he said.

The SK plant is expected to begin installing equipment in the late spring or early summer with as many as 1,500 subcontractors, IDA member Clarence Bryant said. Scott said installation of the equipment will take up to six months.

Early hiring for the plant may start early in 2020, Scott said. Those would mostly be engineers, he said.

Scott said the plant may start testing its production by the end of 2020.

He said the company also has sent a “director of relationships” to the Commerce site.

The county IDA also has been peripherally involved in the lawsuits between SK Group and LG Chem, Scott said. He told the IDA it had received an open records request about the case.

Scott said Sam Olens, who is with the Denton’s firm in Atlanta, filed the request for LG. He said it was for emails and records from the start of the project through the “signing” ceremony.

He said between Jim Shaw, president of the chamber, and him, they had spent nearly 40 hours on the request. He said it involved thousands of emails.

LG filed a lawsuit in the International Trade Commission against SK Innovation in April for theft of trade secrets. SK Innovation said in August it would file a suit with the ITC against LG Chem over patent infringement related to electric vehicles.

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