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SK Innovation to build second battery plant in Hungary

South Korea’s SK Innovation will invest a total of some HUF 239 billion (approx. EUR 750 million) to build its second battery plant in Komárom (NW Hungary), creating 1,000 new jobs, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced at a press conference in Budapest on Wednesday.

Szijjártó told the press that construction of the facility, which will manufacture batteries for electric vehicles, will begin in March, with production expected to begin in late 2021 or early 2022, according to official Hungarian government website kormany.hu.

SK Innovation earlier purchased a 430,000 square-meter plot of land in Komárom for the construction of the 112,000 sqm building, he added.

The announcement follows less than a year after the company began construction of a first, HUF 97.5 billion plant to make lithium batteries for electric vehicles in Komárom, for which the government awarded a non-repayable grant of HUF 8.17 bln at the time. 

“The government will be contributing to the project with non-returnable funding, but negotiations with the investors are still underway with relation to the level of that funding,” the minister stated of the new investment, adding that the high added value-generating production and deployment of state-of-the-art technologies in Hungary justified the state assistance.

SK Innovation picked Hungary for the investment amid fierce regional competition, drawn by the quality of the local labor force, Szijjártó asserted. He noted that three of the big five Asian battery makers - SK Innovation, Samsung and GS Yuasa - now have manufacturing capacity in Hungary.

Szijjártó said the region is capable of meeting the workforce requirements of the new battery plant in Komárom, as the city and surrounding settlements have a high level of skilled labor and higher education is following the demands of the labor market.