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SK Innovation breaks ground on battery plant in Hungary

All Headlines 22:00 March 08, 2018

SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- SK Innovation Co. said Thursday that it has broken ground on an 840 billion-won (US$784 million) electric vehicle battery plant in Hungary in the latest move to boost its production capacity and meet growing demand.

The plant -- the size of about 60 football pitches -- in the northwestern Hungarian city of Komarom is set to be completed by the second half of next year.

Komarom is home to assembly lines of German carmaker Audi and is not far from a plant of another German automaker, Daimler AG, which owns Mercedes-Benz.

SK Innovation said that starting in 2022 when all production lines will be fully in place, its plant will be capable of producing electric vehicle cells with a combined 7.5 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year.

Batteries to be produced in the new facility in Hungary could enable a car to travel 500 kilometers -- the distance between New York and Plattsburgh -- on a single charge, according to the company.

"The goal is to provide SK batteries to electric vehicles around the world in the near future," SK Group Vice Chairman Chey Jae-won said in a groundbreaking ceremony that drew about 300 people, including Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

Batteries to be produced in the country are set to delivered to Daimler.

Currently, SK Innovation supplies batteries to South Korea's largest carmaker, Hyundai Motor Co., and its smaller affiliate, Kia Motors Corp.

SK Innovation CEO and President Kim Jun said the groundbreaking ceremony could enhance the confidence of global carmakers toward SK Innovation's electric vehicle battery business.

The electric vehicle battery market has been on the rise as automakers race to go electric due to tightened regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists say are to blame for global warming.

SK Innovation is South Korea's top oil refiner, but it has been moving into the electric vehicle battery business since 2008 as part of efforts to find new revenue sources.

SK Innovation breaks ground on battery plant in Hungary0

entropy@yna.co.kr
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