Korea's Shinheung SEC takes shortcut to Euro EV marketplace

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New Shinhueng SEC EU battery parts plant at Monor, Hungary

South Korean power battery specialist Shinheung SEC Co Ltd. has joined what has become a steady flow of Korean companies heading for Europe in recent months.

The lithium ion battery and polymer battery parts manufacturer has established a €25.7m production plant to turn out parts for EV power packs in Hungary. It has completed renovation and equipping of an existing unit it acquired at Monor, southeast of the Hungarian capital Budapest.

Shinheung of Osan, South Korea initiated the investment, with state aid from the Hungarian government, with the initial object of serving an EV battery factory just launched by a major client Samsung SDI Co. in nearby Göd.

The lastest South Korean Euro investor attracted a government grant of €2.5m towards the Monor project which is expected to create 300 jobs there by the end of next year, Hungary’s Foreign and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó was quoted by local news agency MTI as announcing.

Shinheung is among a number of Korean firms keen to establish production rapidly in Europe to serve local customers and take advantage of regional market growth. This route is preferred to the more time consuming option of constructing a new plant.

“Acquiring a local plant is a shortcut for a Korean company to secure their production facilities and manufacture products as quickly as possible,” stated the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency KOTRA recently.

Monor plant is Shinheung SEC’s first production facility to open in Europe adding to the group’s five existing units already running in Asia, according to its chief executive officer Kim Gi-Rin.

He confirmed the new local offshoot Shinheung SEC EU Kft. intends to purchase 80% of the plant’s required feedstock from Hungary from 2019.  Shinheung group also supplies the laptop computer and mobile phones markets.    

Trade between South Korea and Hungary rose in value by 19% to €1.37 billion last year, according to Minister Péter Szijjártó.

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