LG Chem open Europe's largest battery plant in Poland next year

LG Chem will open Europe's largest lithium-ion battery factory in Poland next year where the auto industry in the region is preparing to mass-produce electric cars. The Seoul technology giant said the price of batteries will drop and pressure to reduce air pollution makes car manufacturers to accelerate the readiness to build electric cars.

Tinuku LG Chem open Europe's largest battery plant in Poland next year

LG Chem mengumumkan kepastian untuk mulai mengoperasikan pabrik di Polandia sebagai pabrik baterai lithium-ion terbesar di Eropa. Kebutuhan baterai di kawasan itu akan meningkat dimana VW, Daimler, BMW dan Volvo akan menggelar model listrik besar-besaran di tahun-tahun mendatang.

But Europe lacks large-scale battery cell production facilities where most components are imported from China and South Korea. The region wants to develop its own battery industry to preserve jobs and profits, although Asian manufacturers have had great advancements in development and scale.

"The company has chosen Poland as the most competitive production site to meet the needs of European and global car manufacturers," said Vice President of LG Chem, Chang-Beom Kang.

LG Chem has budgeted 5.9 billion zlotys (US$1.63 billion) at a plant in Wroclaw city 190 kilometers from the border with Germany where VW Group plans to invest more than 20 billion euros (US$24 billion) to produce 3 million electric vehicles each year by 2025.

On Thursday, LG Chem hopes to produce up to 100,000 batteries in Poland each year. The plant will employ 2,500 people. So far the subsidiary of LG Corp did not mention the details of the customer's name, but they said they would ship batteries to the top car company.

LG Chem said the site in Poland will include a research and development center that has about 400 engineers from various specializations are automation, electronics, chemistry and IT. They will first import material from a holding company in South Korea and will then look for suppliers in Poland.

Mid-market compact cars like the Nissan Leaf where 100,000 car batteries are equivalent to 4 GWh per year. The capacity of the plant in Poland has a production capacity of 10 percent higher than Tesla's Gigafactory in the United States. Average battery cost has dropped from over US$1,000 per kilowatt hour in 2010 to about US$227 by 2016.