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GS Yuasa to expand lithium business with Hungary plant

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 17:03 -- John Shepherd
GS Yuasa to expand Li business with Hungary plant

Japan-based lead-acid company GS Yuasa is expanding its push into the lithium battery business by building a EUR3.5 million ($4.2m) manufacturing plant in Hungary.

Hungary’s government is backing the project in the city of Miskolcz, in northeastern Hungary, with a non-repayable grant worth around $1.8m. Construction work is set to start next month.

GS Yuasa said the new 140,000 square metre plant will assemble lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles using cells made in Japan for SLI (starting, lighting, and ignition) applications in the European market.

A subsidiary company to run the plant, GS Yuasa Hungary, was formally registered in Hungary on 30 October 2017.

GS Yuasa said the new facility will have an annual production capacity of 500,000 batteries — and the site could also be used to manufacture cells in future.

Hungary’s trade and foreign affairs minister Péter Szijjártó said the government’s support for the battery project aimed to encourage “high-tech companies to bring the latest technologies” to the country.

In November 2017, GS Yuasa told investors it was on track to expand production in at least three other countries - Turkey, China and India as it celebrated 100 years of operations.

South Korean tech giants Samsung SDI and SK innovation are also investing in Hungary for EV battery plants.