SK Innovation has broken ground on a KRW840bn ($784m) electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Komarom in the state of Komarom-Esztergom, about 110km northwest of Budapest, Hungary.
The plant will be established on a 430,000m² site, which is as wide as 60 football fields combined, and it will be SK Innovation’s first European battery manufacturing facility.
The plant is set to be completed by the second half of 2019.
German carmaker Audi has its assembly lines in Komarom, and Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, also has a plant in the area.
SK Innovation plans to invest KRW840.2bn ($789.79m) in construction investment and working capital in the form of instalment-type investment until 2022.
The company intends to begin production and supply in early 2020.
SK Innovation said that when all production lines will be fully in place in 2022, the plant will be capable of producing EV batteries with a combined 7.5GWh per year.
The Komarom plant will manufacture batteries for a third-generation EV, which can run up to 500km on a single charge.
SK Group vice chairman Chey Jae-won said that the goal is to provide SK batteries to EVs around the world in the near future.
Batteries to be produced in Hungary are set to be delivered to Daimler.
SK Innovation currently supplies batteries to Hyundai Motor of South Korea and its affiliate, Kia Motors Corp.
In September 2017, the company began production of mid-sized pouch NCM811 batteries for the first time in the world.
SK Innovation CEO and president Kim Jun said that the groundbreaking ceremony would boost the confidence of global carmakers toward SK Innovation’s EV battery business.
SK Innovation, an oil refiner in South Korea, has been moving into the EV battery business since 2008 as part of efforts to find new revenue sources.
The EV battery market has been on the rise as automakers are making efforts to go electric due to tightened regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.