The city of Debrecen will become the host to the largest industrial investment in Hungarian history
The largest investment in the history of Hungary is being completed in Debrecen, where the Chinese Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL), the world’s largest battery manufacturer, will set up its second European plant, worth around HUF 3,000 billion (EUR 7.4 billion), Levente Magyar, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFA), told public media on Friday.
The state secretary said that a series of negotiations lasting more than two years had been concluded on Friday, as a result of which the CATL facility will be built on a 221-hectare site, creating around 9,000 new jobs in Hungary.
“The Chinese investment is in the field of electric vehicle manufacturing. This also confirms that the government made the right decision when it announced its strategy of opening up to China and identified the electric vehicle industry as one of the main axes of Hungarian economic development,” said Levente Magyar.
The State Secretary stressed that the war in Ukraine has plunged Europe into an economic crisis.
The government’s goal is to make Hungary a local exception to this deepening crisis, which is possible by maintaining economic growth through the continuous attraction of large investments to Hungary.
CATL said in a statement that it is investing €7.34 billion to build a 100 gigawatt-hour (GWh) battery plant in Debrecen. It will be its second battery plant in Europe after the one in Germany. Subject to approval by the shareholders’ meeting, construction of the first plant could start this year.
The project, located in the Déli Industrial Park in Debrecen, Hungary’s second largest city, will supply battery cells and modules to European car manufacturers.
The company said in a statement that Hungary – and Debrecen in particular – boasts a stable business environment, well-developed infrastructure and logistics links, a long-established automotive industry and a large competitive workforce, making it the perfect choice for CATL’s second European battery plant.
With the Hungarian plant’s proximity to some of its customers’ car plants, such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Stellantis and Volkswagen, CATL will be able to better meet the battery demand of the European market, develop its global production network and contribute to accelerating e-mobility and the energy transition in Europe,” the statement said.
As part of its commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of battery production, CATL will use electricity from renewable energy sources and will also consider solar energy developments in Hungary in cooperation with local partners, the statement said.
CATL’s European customers have welcomed the new project. Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Technical Director for Development and Procurement, said:
CATL’s new state-of-the-art European plant in Hungary is another milestone in the expansion of electric vehicle production with key partners.
“In CATL we have found a high-tech partner that will provide us, as the first and largest customer of the new plant, with the highest quality carbon neutral battery cells for next generation electric vehicles in Europe, following our procurement approach of favoring local partners,” Markus Schäfer is quoted as saying in a CATL statement.
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