Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto attends EcoPro cathode plant groundbreaking

Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, attended the cornerstone laying ceremony for a cathode plant in Debrecen, in eastern Hungary, built by South Korea's EcoPro at a cost of 280 billion forints (EUR 740m).

The plant, EcoPro’s first outside of South Korea, will make around 108,000 tonnes of cathode material a year for electric vehicle batteries, the minister said at the ceremony. The investment, which will create 630 jobs, is supported by a 30 billion forint government grant, he said.

Szijjarto noted that Hungary ranks fourth globally in the manufacturing and export of batteries for electric vehicles. He said car making was undergoing a “revolutionary renewal”, adding that it was “not only an economic must … but an environmental necessity since 14 percent of global emissions is related to road traffic”. “Unless the world shifts to electric transportation in the next few years all environmental objectives, all climate and green goals will be degraded into naive illusion,” Szijjarto insisted. Such a shift requires electric vehicles, he said, adding that it needed batteries and “car makers in the West have become entirely dependent on battery producers in the East”.

He said it was a crucial question which countries could benefit from the process and “create a large number of jobs and … import ultra-modern technologies”. “We honestly hope that there are few in Hungary that expect all those projects to flourish in other countries,” the minister added.

Touching on bilateral ties with South Korea, he said trade between the two countries had grown by 37 percent last year to close to 7 billion US dollars.

Leave a Reply