Korean company granted €90m subsidy for Hungarian battery factory

Korean energy and petrochemical company SK Innovation announced on Sunday that it will receive a €90m subsidy from the Hungarian government towards the cost of building its second EV battery factory in the country.

Work on its €700m plant in Komárom, about 50km northwest of Budapest, is due to complete this year. When it begins operations, sometime in 2022, it will be able to produce about 10GW of vehicle batteries a year.

The company said the subsidy was granted by the Hungarian government in recognition of the benefits the plant would bring to the country’s economy. The European Commission approved the offer after a 10-month review.

It commented: "This is an exceptional case for the European Commission, which is known to be very strict about giving approvals, to grant such [a] huge amount of subsidy to a Korean company in such a short period."

It added that approval was granted in a relatively short time because the commission recognised that the plant would help balance economic development among EU member states and contribute to the EU’s "eco-friendly policies".

SK Innovation has a number of customers for its batteries, including Volkswagen and Daimler in Germany, the Beijing Automotive Group and Korea’s Hyundai Motors and Kia.

Ji Dong-seop, chief of the company’s battery business, commented: "With aggressive investment, SK Innovation will become a global leader in [the] electric vehicle battery market. SK Innovation will make efforts to contribute to the development of local communities, as well as the electric vehicle ecosystems."

Image: SK Innovation’s second EV battery plant in Komárom (SK Innovation)

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