[THE INVESTOR] SK Innovation said on March 9 that it recently held a ground breaking ceremony for a 40 billion-won (US$784 million) electric vehicle battery plant in Hungary as part of its expansion of production capacity on growing demand.
The plant is SK Innovation’s first exclusive factory in Europe -- home to major global automakers -- where the firm hopes to gain more traction.
“The goal is to provide batteries for EVs around the world in the near future,” SK Group Vice Chairman Chey Jae-won said at the ceremony. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto also attended the event participated by some 300 officials and guests.
SK Innovation headquarters in Seoul.
The EV battery plant located in the northwestern Hungarian city of Kmarom will be the size of about 60 football pitches, according to company officials,. The construction is slated to be completed by the second half of next year. Major automakers such as Audi also operate assembly lines in Komarom.
Production will kick off in 2022, with the annual capacity of EV battery cells capable of churning out a combined 7.5-gigawatt hours. With these batteries -- which will be first delivered to Daimler -- cars can travel 500 kilometers on a single charge.
“Through this ground breaking ceremony, SK Innovation has earned more confidence of global carmakers toward its battery business and will be a meaningful step for our business expansion,” said SK Innovation CEO and President Kim Jun.
SK Innovation is Korea’s largest oil refiner by revenue, and has been eyeing the EV battery business since 2008 as part of its efforts to tap new growth engines. Some of its major clients include Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.
By Kim Bo-gyung/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)