Korean battery maker LG Chem has raised €480m for its gigafactory in Poland.
The European Investment Bank says its loan to Polish subsidiary LG Chem Wroclaw Energy is a key part of building vital capacity for battery production. The company plans to build a fully integrated production system that will make all battery components from electrodes to cells, modules and packs for the first time in Europe.
“This first EIB operation with LG Chem Wroclaw Energy is significant for many reasons," said Teresa Czerwinska, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, who oversees operations in Poland. "It helps Europe to build a critical mass in electric vehicle battery production at a pivotal time of electric vehicle commercialisation in Europe; it promotes a shift to electromobility and to a greener automotive industry; and it helps create new qualified jobs in an industrial region in transition to a new economic model.
The funding will support the construction of the manufacturing plant for advanced lithium-ion cells and batteries for battery-powered electric vehicles, but the project will also include technological transfer, the creation of around 1,800 jobs and research and development activities in south west Poland. This will create one of the largest gigafactories in the world.
The financing will be used for the construction and operation of highly automated plant for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The EIB financing will cover around a third of the total project costs, estimated at €1.5bn, while the rest will come from the company’s own resources and from other financing sources.
Alongside smaller smaller production facilities on the same site, the gigafactory will be a fully smart factory with several newly developed cutting-edge technologies to mass-produce the latest generation of high energy density li-ion electrodes, cells, modules and battery packs. The gigafactory will produce over 35 GWh of battery systems a year, which can potentially power more than 500,000 electric cars.