Hungary: New battery plant by EcoPro BM is on target

The South Korean battery material manufacturer EcoPro BM has started building its factory in Debrecen, Hungary. The plant will produce 108,000 tonnes of cathode materials for electric car batteries annually and employ 631 people.

The Hungarian investment promotion agency HIPA announced as much at the ground-breaking ceremony. It was to show “that the 728-million-euro project of the South Korean company is going to plan”. EcoPro BM announced the schedule in December 2021 and remains on target – construction phase one is set for completion in the second half of 2024, and the second phase a year later.

EcoPro BM will supply the cathode materials to  Samsung SDI’s battery factory in Göd, Hungary, near Budapest. The 108,000 tonnes of cathode material will produce batteries for 1.35 million electric cars. Samsung SDI and EcoPro BM set up a joint venture for cathode materials in 2020.

South Korea brought the most foreign direct investment (FDI) to Hungary between 2019 and 2022, the HIPA informs. A total of 49 related HIPA-guided deals were closed over the nine years between 2014-2022 with Korean companies, the bulk of which were e-mobility related, so HIPA.

The EcoPro project is also not the only one related to electric vehicles. BMW is busy building a new electric car plant in Debrecen and targets producing the first all-electric New Class vehicle there in 2025 and a high-voltage battery assembly plant, as reported. In addition, CATL reportedly wants to build a battery cell factory in Debrecen, with an annual capacity of 100 GWh, among other things, to supply Mercedes-Benz.

HIPA expects the new plants to “significantly contribute to the development of the local EV ecosystem”.


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