China’s CATL to Start Construction of Hungary Factory This Summer
Chinese energy battery giant CATL’s battery factory in Debrecen, Hungary will officially begin construction this summer, with trial operations starting next year and production beginning in 2025. Local sources close to the project in Hungary disclosed that large-scale worker dormitories are currently under construction, according to a report by Chinese media outlet The Paper.
In August of last year, CATL announced that it would invest no more than 7.34 billion euros to build a new 100GWh battery factory in the city of Debrecen, which will become the largest battery factory in Europe after completion. This will also be CATL’s second overseas factory following its Thuringia plant in Germany.
According to a report from Hungarian local media Növekedes.hu on April 18, Fred Zhang, the manager responsible for international communication at CATL, said that the battery factory will produce battery cells and modules after it is put into operation. The factory will become a service center for European car factories and supply approximately 30 electric vehicle brands including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen.
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According to Fred Zhang, the battery factory invested by CATL in Debrecen will arrange battery production based on orders from automakers and serve car factories operating in Europe. “The Debrecen plant enables us to meet the challenges of the growing demand in the European market, improve our global production network, and help accelerate electric vehicle adoption and energy transition in Europe,” said Fred Zhang.
In addition, the Debrecen factory will achieve comprehensive automation, with most of the work processes being executed by robots and human supervision of their operation. Fred Zhang said that initially Chinese technical professionals will arrive in Hungary, and during the initial construction phase of the factory, Chinese workers will operate robots for production.
As of now, there are 38 power battery production projects in Hungary with a total investment of 14.2 billion euros. China is the second largest investor after South Korea. Currently, the largest single battery enterprise investor in Hungary is CATL, and Chinese battery company EVE Energy also plans to invest and build a factory in Hungary.