Leading market player Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) will invest EUR 7.34 billion to build a 100 GWh battery plant in Debrecen, E Hungary, the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) reports. The investment that is to create over 9,000 new jobs will become Hungary’s largest FDI project ever and is set to strengthen the role of the country as one of the world’s leading battery producers.
China-based CATL, a global leader in lithium-ion battery development and manufacturing picked Hungary as the location of its second European plant following the one in Germany. Construction is scheduled to commence this year on 221 hectares in the Southern Industrial Park of Debrecen.
Thanks to its sound business environment, the available well-developed infrastructure and logistics connections, a long-established automotive industry as well as abundant competitive workforce, Debrecen promises to be the perfect choice of location for the company for many reasons.
In addition, with its the proximity of plants of its customers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Stellantis and Volkswagen, the Hungarian plant will enable CATL to better cope with the battery demands of the European market, improve its global production network development, and help accelerate e-mobility and energy transition in Europe.
As part of its commitment to reducing the carbon footprint in battery manufacturing, CATL will use electricity from renewable energies, and it is also examining the possibility of joining forces with local partners to establish facilities for battery materials in Europe to build a sustainable and circular battery value chain.
The Chinese company considers the investment as a giant leap in its global expansion that is expected to improve its competitive edge to a great extent.
The volume of the project also bears special significance as it will be the largest greenfield investment in Hungary, exceeding investment records of the previous years. HIPA says it played a crucial role in making it happen as the Agency has been providing professional support from the outset, and it will continue to provide a full range of consultancy services even after the deal was closed to assist in the implementation phase.
The Hungarian arm of the global environmental agency Greenpeace warns that a battery factory is a plant that works with hazardous substances. Therefore, it is important on the one hand to locate it as far away from settlements as possible, but on the other hand, from an environmental point of view, it is important not to destroy green areas in order to build the plant, but to revitalize existing industrial areas that are no longer functioning, preferably as brownfield investments.
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