Samsung SDI is gearing up for major expansion in Europe in 2021 and reportedly also for the NCA chemistry.

According to the South Korean media, Samsung SDI has begun expansion of its lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant in Göd, Hungary.

Unofficial reports say that Samsung SDI has ordered manufacturing equipment for its existing plant as well as for the second plant (construction - also in Göd - to start in H1 2020, with production from 2021).

"Industry sources said on Feb. 19 that in line with such moves, Samsung SDI has tapped South Korea’s Philoptics on purchasing stacking equipment. The orders are likely to be around 20 units, which are forecast to enter the plant in 2021 – enough to cover both Plant No.1 and No.2 in Hungary."

The company is expected to invest KRW 1.2 trillion ($994 million / €917 million) in Hungary by 2030 and gradually increase the production to 18 million cells per month (around 6 million in the first plant and 12 million in the second plant).

It's difficult to estimate the manufacturing capacity in GWh, as it depends on the average capacity of the cells, but for sure it will be a gigafactory.

Separately, media reports that Samsung SDI will start to apply NCA (Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide) type of cathode materials in Hungary to increase the energy density of its batteries. NCA was known mostly from the use by Panasonic/Tesla.

The NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) chemistry will continue to be available - in parallel we guess.

"With the new cathode material that has a nickel content of more than 80%, Samsung SDI will producing the so-called Gen5 batteries, a product it calls its next-generation battery. Mass production is slated for 2021. This marks the first time for Samsung SDI to apply NCA to square-type batteries.

Samsung SDI said that the Gen5-applied EV would boast a driving distance of 600km and more per charge. This means the Gen5 battery has an energy density of at least 600Wh/L."

Source: thelec.kr (expansion), thelec.kr (NCA)