China's CATL to make largest investment ever in history of Hungary

BUDAPEST, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese company is set to invest 7.34 billion euros (7.6 billion U.S. dollars) in building a plant to manufacture batteries for carmakers in Hungary. The investment by Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) is the largest ever in the history of Hungary, according to the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto.

"We are proud that CATL decided to execute the biggest ever greenfield investment in the history of Hungary," said the Minister on his Facebook page on Friday.

CATL said in a statement that it will build the 100 GWh battery plant in Debrecen, in the east of Hungary. The new plant is to supply both cells and modules to European carmakers.

Hungarian Foreign Affairs Secretary Levente Magyar said that CATL, the world's largest battery manufacturer, is bringing its second European plant to an area of about 221 hectares. CATL's first plant in Europe is located in Germany.

Magyar also said that more than two years of negotiations had been concluded on Friday.

CATL explained that it had chosen Debrecen as it is the second largest town in Hungary, and is located at the heart of Europe. It is also close to the plants of some of its own customers, such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Stellantis and Volkswagen.

"CATL's Debrecen 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 company said.

In order to reduce its carbon footprint, CATL will use electricity from renewable energies, and is also considering developing solar power with local partners in the country.

"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," Szijjarto said.

The best way to achieve this goal is by attracting investment in the most revolutionary branch of the automotive industry, namely, electromobility, he added.

Construction of the new plant is expected to begin this year.

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