On September 5, representatives from Chinese EV battery manufacturer CATL and Chinese government met with representatives of Hungary’s local and national governments to sign a land pre-purchasing agreement. By arranging this deal, CATL has officially commenced the development of its battery manufacturing project in Debrecen, which is the second largest city in Hungary. The news was first reported by Xinhua News Agency and other news platforms. CATL’s intention to invest in Hungary was first disclosed this August.
Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, was at the signing ceremony and said this project is one of the five largest greenfield investments in Europe in a decade and the largest greenfield investment ever for Hungary. Hence, the importance of the project cannot be understated. In terms of economic benefits, the new battery plant is expected to create 9,000 new local jobs. Szijjártó also pointed out that China and Hungary’s relationship is highly constructive because it is based on “mutual respect,” and the tangible cooperation between the two countries continues “unaffected by outside influence.”
Robin Zeng, chairman of CATL, attended the signing ceremony virtually and said the battery manufacturing project is a major step forward in rounding out the company’s global strategy. Zeng added that going forward, CATL will be fully committed to local economic development and the growth of Hungary’s EV industry.
Yang Chao, who is the interim Chinese ambassador to Hungary, said that CATL’s battery manufacturing project will strengthen Hungary’s position in the global automotive industry and serve as a positive demonstration of the energetic cooperation between the two countries in the area of new energy technologies.
According to CATL’s development plan for this project, construction of facility buildings will begin this year. The project site will be located in an industrial park in Debrecen and occupy an area of 221 hectares. Its production capacity is set at 100GWh per year. The total investment in the project is estimated around EUR 7.34 billion or CNY 51 billion. Once up a running, the new battery plant will be supplying EV batteries to carmakers including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, and Stellantis. The project in Hungary is CATL’s second battery manufacturing site in Europe. The first one is being developed in Germany and scheduled to enter operation within this year.