South Korean battery manufacturer SK On and Ford Otosan, the Turkish JV between Ford and Koç, are yet to agree terms for a proposed 30-45 gigawatt-hours battery facility in Turkey.

The project, first announced in an MOU in March 2022, consists of the production of NMC batteries near Ankara primarily to supply commercial vehicles. The plant was planned to be operational in 2025.

Following media speculation, SK On said in a statement on Monday that the partners have been discussing the JV case in Turkey “but discussions have not been completed.” It added that the final decision on whether to halt negotiations “has not been made yet.”

South Korea’s Dong-A Ilbo daily newspaper had earlier reported that SK On plans to scrap the project due to a weak macroeconomic environment.

“Our plans for a battery production site in Turkey are on track, and we are moving ahead with the planned timeline,” Ford told Kallanish in an emailed statement. “We will announce further details in due course,” the carmaker added, when enquired on whether it would proceed with the project with a new battery manufacturer.

Koç Holding received approval for the plant’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) last September. Then, the Turkish company said the facility has an investment cost of TRY 32 billion ($1.7 billion).

The gigafactory is expected to supply high-nickel batteries to Ford Otosan’s commercial vehicles, particularly e-vans, but also meet demand from Turkish EV start-up TOGG.

Ford has recently announced it will invest in its Halewood plant in the UK to scale up its EV components capacity. The plant will deliver to the vehicles’ assembly lines at Ford Otosan plants in Turkey and Romania, providing electric powertrains to 70% of the 600,000 EVs Ford plans to sell in Europe a year by 2026.

SK On, which also has a joint venture with Ford in the US, operates manufacturing sites in South Korea, China, and Hungary.