BUDAPEST, July 27 (Xinhua) -- China's Sunwoda Electric plans to build a power battery factory for electric vehicles with an investment of 580 billion Hungarian forints (1.7 billion U.S. dollars) in Nyiregyhaza, northeast Hungary, the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said here on Thursday.
Sunwoda, one of the world's leading battery makers, will initially invest 93 billion Hungarian forints in the project, creating "several thousand" jobs. It will be the company's first European plant and will aim to meet the increasing demand from European automakers, he said.
Szijjarto stated that this investment is the largest announced in Hungary this year and the third that exceeds one billion euros (1.1 billion U.S. dollars). This, he said, sets the stage for foreign direct investment (FDI) to double from the previous year, underlining Hungary's commitment to surpassing last year's investment record.
The construction of Sunwoda's plant in Nyiregyhaza's industrial park is slated to begin in 2024, with production commencing by the end of 2025, the company said. The plant will supply lithium-ion batteries to automotive companies across the continent.
Sunwoda describes itself as a world leader in consumer electronics, with its subsidiary ranking among the top 10 electric car battery manufacturers. The company's plant in Nyiregyhaza will make it a significant economic player and employer in Hungary.
Emphasizing its commitment to sustainability, Sunwoda's factory will operate solely on renewable energy, and 90 percent of its water consumption will be covered through treated wastewater solutions.
Sunwoda follows in the footsteps of fellow Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), which signed agreements for its Hungarian plant last September.
CATL's plant, with a total investment of 7.34 billion euros (8.07 billion U.S. dollars), is expected to achieve a production capacity of 100 gigawatt hours (GWh), making it one of the five largest greenfield investments in Europe in the last decade and the largest investment ever in Hungary. (1 Hungarian forint = 0.003 U.S. dollar) ■