Today, Chinese battery producer Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) officially announced that it will invest 7.34 billion euros to build a 100 gigawatt-hours (GWh) battery plant in Debrecen, Hungary, which is also its second battery plant in Europe. Subject to the shareholder meeting approval, construction of the first production facilities will start within this year.
Covering an area of 221 hectares in the Southern Industrial Park of Debrecen, the project will supply both cells and modules to European automakers. Debrecen is located in close proximity to some auto plants of CATL’s customers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Stellantis and Volkswagen. The new plant will allow CATL to keep up with the battery demands of the European market, improve its global production network development, and help accelerate e-mobility and energy transition in Europe.
As part of its commitment to reducing the carbon footprint in battery manufacturing, CATL will use electricity from renewable energies and is considering developing solar power with local partners in the country.
To build a sustainable and circular battery value chain, CATL is also examining the possibility of joining forces with local partners to establish facilities for battery materials in Europe.
“There is no doubt that our plant in Debrecen will enable us to further sharpen our competitive edge, better respond to our European customers, and accelerate the transition to e-mobility in Europe,” said Dr Robin Zeng, founder and Chairman of CATL. “The greenfield project in Hungary will be a giant leap in CATL’s global expansion, and also an important step in our efforts to make an outstanding contribution to the green energy drive for humankind.”
Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade underlined that CATL’s new plant will be the biggest ever greenfield investment in the history of Hungary. “We have recently become one of the leading battery production sites of the world and with this huge investment we further strengthen our position,” he added.
The new project was well received by CATL’s European customers. “This new state-of-the-art European CATL plant in Hungary is another milestone for the scale-up of our EV production together with our key partners,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, CTO responsible for development and procurement. “With CATL we have a technology leader as our partner to provide us – as the first and biggest customer of the new plant’s initial capacity – with top-notch CO2 neutral battery cells for our next generation EVs in Europe, hence following our local-to-local approach in procurement. We’re proud to see our Ambition 2039 supported by CATL’s commitment to CO2 neutral production in Hungary.”
CATL is the largest in the world by installed battery capacity. The company saw growth of over 165 per cent compared to 2020 and holds the title of the world’s largest battery manufacturer for the fifth year in a row.