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[Exclusive] Samsung SDI chief to visit Hungary battery plant in June

Samsung SDI President and CEO Jun Young-hyun (Samsung SDI)
Samsung SDI President and CEO Jun Young-hyun (Samsung SDI)


Samsung SDI President and CEO Jun Young-hyun is expected to visit Hungary next month, where the firm is currently building its second factory for electric vehicle batteries, industry sources with knowledge of the matter said Sunday.

The visit would be Jun’s first overseas trip since the pandemic broke out last year. Jun has received the first jab of the two-shot vaccine regimen for the trip and will be accompanied by a vice president, according to the industry sources.

In response to an inquiry from The Korea Herald, Samsung SDI said nothing has been decided yet and that the CEO’s schedule is subject to change depending on the coronavirus outbreak situation.

During the planned visit, Jun is expected to make final checks on its factory in the city of Goed in northern Hungary, where it plans to begin mass production of a new type of battery starting the second half of this year. Containing 88 percent nickel, the Gen5 NCA (nickel cobalt aluminum) batteries will offer a greater driving range for electric vehicles, the company said.

The Yongin, Gyeonggi Province-based firm said in February that it would invest 1 trillion won ($887.7 million) in expansion plans in Hungary, including the construction of a second battery factory in the country. Factory No. 1’s annual production capacity is currently estimated at 30 gigawatt-hours and the new plant would increase Samsung SDI’s capacity in Hungary to more than 40 gigawatt-hours.

Samsung SDI logged its record first-quarter revenue of 2.96 trillion won this year, a 23.59 percent increase on-year, while its operating profit spiked 146.74 percent to 133.2 billion won in the same period.

The company’s energy division, which conducts the EV battery business, saw its revenue soar 32.9 percent to 2.38 trillion won on-year.

By Kim Byung-wook (kbw@heraldcorp.com)
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