The plant has a size of 41,300 ㎡2 and was aiming to start production in the second half of 2017. That has now been pushed back to the first half of 2018. It will employ 2500 staff building battery packs from scratch and will include a research and development centre employing “about 400 engineers from automation, electronics, chemistry and IT”.
LG Chem is investing $355m (KRW400bn) in the plant by the end of 2018 to provide more than 100,000 lithium ion batteries per year for high-performance electric vehicles (EVs) that can run up to 320 km once charged. This is about 10% of the production planned by Tesla at its gigafactory in the US.
The EU has this week highlighted the risks of not having such production in the region.
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"We will turn the Poland EV battery plant into a mecca of battery production for electric vehicles around the world,” said UB Lee, the President of Energy Solution Company, LG Chem at the start of construction (above). “As LG Chem's Poland EV battery plant is the first large-scale automotive lithium battery production plant in Europe, it will play the role of vitalizing the electric vehicle industry across the whole Europe. We will put all our efforts into making the plant into a main production hub for EV batteries.”
Since that announcement several other companies have either built new plants or converted existing ones. Samsung SDI is facilitising its former TV plant in Hungary to start production of batteries, while BMZ opened the first [hase of its battery megafactory earlier this year.
The company will build a fully integrated production system that produces all battery components from electrodes to cells, modules, and packs for the first time in Europe.