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Doosan confirms HUF 32 bln copper foil investment

South Korean conglomerate Doosan has confirmed that it will invest HUF 32 billion in a plant in Tatabánya (W Hungary) making battery copper foil, a key component of electric vehicle batteries, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday, as reported by state news agency MTI.

Copper foil is a key component of electric vehicle batteries

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported in July that Doosan would start building the plant in December. The company will receive a HUF 4.7 bln government grant for the project, Szijjártó revealed.

According to the minister, the plant - which will employ 181 people - will make Doosan the sole supplier of battery copper foil in Europe. 

Szijjártó went on to say that Hungaryʼs exports to South Korea exceeded USD 310 million in value in the first eight months of this year, compared to USD 500 mln in 2017 as a whole, and bilateral trade has grown by 54% from last year.

Jongwoo Kim, the head of European operations at Doosan, said construction work on the plant will start this year and could wind up during the second half of 2019. The plant will have annual capacity to make 50,000 tonnes of the product, he added. 

Kim said he expects the companyʼs market share to expand thanks to the investment and demand for the plantʼs products to grow dynamically in the coming years.

Doosan projects annual demand for copper foil to increase from 75,000 tonnes to 955,000 tonnes by 2025 thanks to the upsurge of electromobility. The annual pace of growth could thus approach 50%, he added.

In 2017, Doosan, which was established in 1896 and claims on its website to be the oldest Korean company, achieved USD 17 bln in turnover, according to official government website kormany.hu. The company employs a total of some 40,000 people in 38 countries.