“This place will become a milestone for SK Innovation’s battery business” Jee Dong-seob, CEO of SK Innovation’s battery business, visits a production base for EV batteries in Europe.
2020.02.12

 

The quiet village began to be revitalized again. Komarom is a small city about 100 km north of Budapest, Hungary. Bordering Slovakia, the city was relatively calm and quiet except for some tourists who visit to enjoy hot spring baths.

 

In November 2017, SK Innovation decided to build an electric vehicle battery production base here to target the European market. The battery production plant with an annual capacity of 7.5 GWh, completed with an investment of approximately KRW 850 billion ($720 million) began producing SK Innovation’s EV batteries in January of this year.

 

▲ Innovation’s plant in Hungary(left) and a map showing the location of Komarom(right)

 

 

Jee Dong-seob, who was appointed as the CEO of SK Innovation’s battery business from SK Lubricants during the executive reshuffle last year, visited the plant in Hungary on Feb 9. This was the first overseas production base of SK Innovation that CEO Jee visited. The Hungarian plant is not only the first production base in Europe for SK Innovation’s battery business but also the first global site operated solely by the company.

 

▲ Jee Dong-seob, CEO of SK Innovation’s battery business, talks with members on his visit to the Battery Plant 1 in Hungary

 

After thoroughly checking the facilities and production status of the battery plant line, CEO Jee received a report on key tasks and social value plans for this year, and then toured the entire process of electrode, assembly, and formation in the Plant 1, which is currently manufacturing products. On this occasion, CEO Jee said, “Securing a forward base for Europe, the mecca of the electric vehicle market, is significant for SK Innovation’s battery business. I hope you will develop this place, which will become a ‘milestone’ for SK Innovation’s battery business, into the best global model.” Furthermore, he expressed his deep gratitude to members who have been seamlessly doing their job from the plant’s completion to mass production despite the tight schedule.

 

▲ Jee Dong-seob, CEO of SK Innovation’s battery business, talks with members on his visit to the Battery Plant 1 in Hungary

 

 

Komarom was once Nokia’s Eastern European cell phone production base. But after it left, the city became quiet again. However, SK innovation is bringing vitality to the city with the opening of its plant. Engineers dispatched from the Seosan plant in South Korea, the home base of SK Innovation’s battery production, are working together while training locally hired employees. Korean restaurants have also opened nearby, and the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs who visited Korea late last year visited SK and expressed appreciation for the company’s investment.

 

▲ In March last year, Hungarian factory engineers visited SK Innovation sites (Seosan, Daejeon, Seoul, etc.) for training

 

 

Across the Plant 1, the construction of the Plant 2 is in full swing. SK Innovation is currently constructing its second battery plant with a capacity of 9GWh (gigawatt hours) by investing around KRW 940 billion ($790 million) in addition to the first plant. The investments in the first and second plants total KRW 1.78 trillion($1.54billion) The combined production capacity of the two plants is 16.5GWh, which corresponds to 330,000 cars*. SK Innovation’s first own plant in Europe will inevitably become a symbol and foothold for the Korean battery industry targeting the European market. This is also why CEO Jee visited the plant in Hungary.

(*) Based on cars with 50GW output

 

▲ Jee Dong-seob, CEO of SK Innovation’s battery business, visits the construction site of the Battery Plant 2 in Hungary.

 

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