Belgian battery manufacturer Avesta Battery & Energy Engineering (ABEE) plans to invest EUR1.1bn (US$1.2bn) to make lithium-ion batteries in Bulgaria over the next three to five years, Bulgarian prime minister Nikolay Denkov said, as quoted by state news agency BTA and reported by SeeNews.com.

The investment project would be among the largest in Europe and envisioned opening plants in Stara Zagora, Plovdiv and Burgas, BTA reported. It was expected to create over 1,000 new jobs.

The reports said ABEE intends to open a research and development (R&D) base in Plovdiv and build a lithium-ion battery factory in Stara Zagora, producing 10 gigawatts of solid state batteries annually.

The planned plant in coastal Burgas would process 50,000 tonnes of batteries per year. The facility would be the largest of its kind in the Balkans, focusing on a circular economy by extracting raw materials for battery production from reuse.

Last May, ABEE signed a contract with North Macedonia to build a EUR40m factory for EV batteries for cars. In June, the company unveiled plans for a EUR1.4bn battery plant in Galati, Romania, creating up to 8,000 jobs, SeeNews.com noted.

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