The EBRD is powering the revolution in electric vehicles. A long-term loan of €250 million will support the construction of a battery gigafactory in Wrocław in western Poland by LG Chem, one of the world’s leading chemical groups.
The facility was established to produce lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. It is the first and currently the only fully integrated plant in Europe to produce all battery components, ranging from electrodes to cells, modules and final packs.
The move to electric vehicles is seen as imperative to reduce CO2 emissions and reach targets in addressing the challenges of climate change. The EU is aiming for a climate-neutral economy by 2050.
The LG Chem plant in Wrocław is a major step in this direction: with a total investment of €2.8 billion in three stages, when completed in 2022 the factory is expected to reach a production capacity of around 65-70 GWh a year.
This will allow the company to supply batteries for up to 1 million electric vehicles per year (approximately six per cent of cars sold in Europe), resulting in the reduction of over 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
The plant in Wrocław will also have a sizeable impact on the local labour market. The company employs 2,700 people and plans to hire an additional 1,000 skilled employees by 2022.
Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Global Head of Industries, said: “We are proud to support this landmark investment, which will lead the green transformation of Europe’s automotive sector. In all its industrial projects across all 38 economies in which the EBRD invests, the Bank is investing in priority and in majority for the decarbonisation of the hard-to-abate sectors. Becoming part of LG Chem’s ambitious venture in Poland illustrates that the EBRD is up for it.”
LG Chem added: “We are very delighted with our cooperation with the EBRD. Such support from the EBRD proves the promising future of EV business and LG Chem’s leading position in the manufacturing of batteries. We hope the EBRD will remain a committed long-term partner.”
To date, the EBRD has invested €9.9 billion in 420 projects in Poland.