Hungary’s Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA), says EcoPro BM is to open its first European factory unit in Debrecen, which is also the first location of the company outside Korea.

Investment is slated to be EUR728m (US$823m) says HIPA, with the manufacture of cathode material for lithium-ion batteries creating around 631 new jobs.

Capacity of the plant will be 108,000 tons of cathode material, sufficient for 1.35m electric car batteries.

EcoPro BM, established in 1998, is divided into two main areas: environmental protection and IT/energy. The manufacturing of cathode material required to produce lithium-ion batteries is linked to the latter.

EcoPro BM was the first company to produce cathodes with 80% nickel content in 2018. Since 2008, it has been a regular supplier of Samsung, but also works with Hyundai Heavy Industries.

“In response to continued rising demand as well as financial and logistical considerations, it has become vital for the largest car manufacturers not to have to import batteries for cars of the future from the Far East, but to have them produced here on the European continent,” noted a HIPA statement.

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“This investor decision helps Hungary to strengthen its key role in the field of electromobility.”