Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) officially announced today a massive new battery plant investment in Europe.
The Chinese manufacturer intends to invest €7.34 billion ($7.5 billion) to build a 100 GWh EV battery plant in Debrecen, Hungary. Once approved at the shareholder meeting, construction of the first production facilities will start before the end of this year.
That would be CATL's second battery plant in Europe, as the first one (much smaller) is expected to start production this year in Erfurt, Germany (8 GWh annually initially and 14 GWh annually in the future). This project was started in 2019.
According to CATL, the factory in Hungary will produce cells and modules (undisclosed chemistry) for European automakers. The location is in relatively close proximity to some plants of CATL's customers, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Stellantis and Volkswagen. Mercedes-Benz specifically said that it is the first and the biggest customer of the new plant’s initial capacity.
The company explains that the new 100 GWh plant will "enable it 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."
The factory will be powered by renewable electricity sources. The Chinese investment (the largest ever in the region) is expected to create up to 9,000 jobs.
According to the press release, there is also a potential to "establish facilities for battery materials in Europe", which means that we might see more CATL investments.
Dr. Robin Zeng, founder and Chairman of CATL said:
“There is no doubt that our plant in Debrecen will enable us to further sharpen our competitive edge, better respond to our European customers, and accelerate the transition to e-mobility in Europe. The greenfield project in Hungary will be a giant leap in CATL’s global expansion, and also an important step in our efforts to make an outstanding contribution to the green energy drive for humankind.”
Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said:
“Both the global and the European economies have been faced with tremendous challenges recently. We in Hungary have a clear goal to be a local exception from the continental recession. The best tool to achieve this goal is to attract state-of-the-art investments in the most revolutionary branch of the automotive industry, namely electromobility. We are proud that CATL decided to execute the biggest ever greenfield investment in the history of Hungary. We have recently become one of the leading battery production sites of the world and with this huge investment we further strengthen our position.”
CATL battery plant in Hungary:
- location: Debrecen, Hungary
area of 221 hectares
- investment: €7.34 billion ($7.5 billion)
- capacity: 100 GWh of lithium-ion cells and modules annually
- chemistry: N/A
- construction: start before the end of 2022
- customers: various, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Stellantis and Volkswagen