[THE INVESTOR] SK Innovation, the nation’s top oil refiner that also produces automotive batteries, is building a new 850 billion won (US$779 million) battery plant in Hungary to better meet demand from European carmakers, including Mercedes-Benz, according to news reports on Nov. 28.
The new plant, located on a 429,752 square-meter site in Komarom, a northern city, will have an annual production capacity of 7.8 gigawatt hours that can be used for about 250,000 electric vehicles. The construction is expected to start in February.
The Korean firm is hoping to diversify its European clientele as the new plant is part of Hungary’s Automotive Cluster, a regional production base for global carmakers such as Audi, Suzuki and BYD and their parts suppliers such as Continental, Bosch and ZF.
With the latest entry of Korea’s third biggest battery maker, Hungary will now host the production facilities of the nation’s top three battery makers, including Samsung SDI and LG Chem.
Korean batteries makers have been juggling their options among East European countries for their production base and Hungary has reportedly offered the most generous incentives, including a reduced corporate tax of about 9 percent.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)