South Korea's Samsung SDI will invest HUF22.5bn (€58mn) in a research and development project in Hungary, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto announced on September 7. The project will be the biggest R&D investment in Hungary to date.
The project will boost battery capacity and safety while improving production efficiency, Szijjarto said. The state is supporting the investment, which will create "dozens" of high value-added jobs, with HUF5.5bn, he added.
Samsung SDI played a pioneering role in the development of Hungary’s electro-mobility industry. The company began battery cell production at God, near Budapest, in 2018 after the reconstruction of its former television screen factory. Samsung SDI’s Hungarian battery factory was the company’s first facility in the EU.
The European Commission earlier this year cleared €89.6mn in state support for a €1.2bn expansion of Samsung SDI's electric vehicle battery plant on the outskirts of Budapest.
The South Korean began the investment to meet rising demand in the EU and the EEA region as it was producing near full capacity, 6mn battery cells per month.
Samsung’s investment will help the transformation of the Hungarian economy, with a 30% share of the automotive sector and further strengthen cooperation with domestic universities, according to Szijjarto.
Hungary is striving to become a global hub for EV battery production. There are dozens of projects from across the entire value chain, from material suppliers to recycling. The country is currently it is the fourth-largest producer of EV battery cells and by 2030 total capacities could reach 250 GW. That would be the highest in Europe and the second-highest globally after China.
Szijjarto noted that bilateral trade between Hungary and South Korea rose 75% in the first half of the year to more than €5bn.
South Korean companies form the fourth-biggest group of investors in Hungary.