By Kim Kwang-tae
SEOUL, April 23 (Yonhap) -- LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's largest chemical company, said Thursday that it has signed a 550 million-euro (US$595 million) loan agreement with three South Korean banks in the latest move to secure financial resources to expand an electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Poland.
The loan by the Korea Development Bank, the Export-Import Bank of Korea and NH Nonghyup came a month after LG Chem acquired a Turkish television assembly factory in Poland for $31.4 million to expand its plant for EV batteries.
The television assembly factory is located next to LG Chem's EV battery plant in the southwestern Polish city of Wroclaw.
In March, LG Chem's Polish subsidiary, LG Chem Wroclaw Energy, inked a 480 million-euro loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The EIB said the loan will be used for the construction and operation of manufacturing facilities in Wroclaw for advanced lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells and batteries for electric vehicles.
The financing will cover around a third of total project costs, estimated at 1.5 billion euros. The remainder will come from LG Chem's own resources and other financing sources, according to the EIB.
The EIB-backed project will have an annual production capacity of over 35 gigawatt-hours, which could potentially power more than 500,000 zero-emission electric cars per year, according to the bank.
Currently, LG Chem has five battery plants in South Korea, China, the United States and Poland, with a combined capacity of 70 gigawatt-hours.
LG Chem supplies EV batteries to 13 of the top 20 car brands, including German automaker Volkswagen, French carmaker Renault, American auto giant General Motors and South Korea's largest carmaker Hyundai Motor.
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