October 12, 2017 12:13 CET
WARSAW — South Korean battery maker LG Chem will produce 100,000 electric car batteries a year in Poland to meet demand from automakers ditching diesel and gasoline engines.
The factory will be Europe’s largest battery plant and will employ 2,500 people, LG Chem said in a joint statement with the Polish development ministry on Thursday. It is due to be completed next year near the western city of Wroclaw.
The factory will make batteries for electric cars produced by top car companies, which are investing billions of dollars in electric cars, LG Chem said.
Wroclaw is only 190 km (118 miles) from Poland’s border with Germany, where Volkswagen plans to invest more than 20 billion euros ($24 billion) in zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and make three million EVs a year by 2025.
LG Chem did not say how much it would spend on its new batteries business, but it recently invested 1.4 billion zlotys in LG Chem Wroclaw Energy, which will manage the factory, and granted it 2.8 billion zloty ($777 million) in credit guarantees.
LG has had a production hub near Wroclaw since 2007.
The European Union is pushing for a switch from gasoline and diesel engines and is making efforts to develop battery production in the bloc to compete with Asian and U.S. manufacturers.