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Korean battery makers line up in Europe

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:51 -- Xuan Zhong
Korean battery makers line up in Europe

Further evidence of Korean “land grab” of future European EV markets came last week with the news that SK Innovation announcing it plans to invest around KRW1 trillion ($920 million) in building an electric vehicle battery plant in Hungary and in expanding production facilities for EV batteries in Korea.

The battery maker said it would set aside KRW840 billion for the Hungary plant on which it begins construction in February next year. By 2020, the plant will be capable of producing 7.5GWh of batteries per year.

With SK‘s latest decision, all three Korean battery makers have now advanced into Europe.

LG Chem is building a plant in Poland capable of producing 100,000 batteries per year from next year. Samsung SDI is also expected to produce 50,000 in Hungary from 2018.

SK Innovation said the remaining KRW200 bn will be used for expanding lithium-ion battery separators in Jeungpyeong, North Chungcheong Province, and battery cells in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province.

“We decided to expand the plants for battery separators and cells due to the explosive growth of the global EV market,” a spokesman said.