A Korean company will open a battery component factory in Catalonia

The Korean company Iljin Materials will invest 600 million euros in the installation of a factory for key battery components for electric cars in Mont-roig del Camp (Tarragona), the first to open in Europe.

This was announced this Monday by the Minister of Business and Labor of the Generalitat, Roger Torrent, accompanied by the mayor of the municipality, Fran Morancho, from Seoul (South Korea) after meeting with the directors of the Asian company.

The future plant will generate 500 direct jobs, will be operational in 2024 and will have an area of ​​30,000 square meters between the factory itself, the warehouse areas and a technical building.

Iljin Materials produces elecfoil, a basic copper foil for lithium batteries that, in addition to its application in the motor sector, is also used in energy storage.

The company, founded in 1968 and headquartered in Seoul, has 1,100 workers internationally and has a production plant in Iksan and another in Malaysia.

The Minister of Business and Work, Roger Torrent, and directors of the Iljin Materials company during the announcement of the opening of its first factory in Europe, located in Mont-roig del Camp (Tarragona).

Representatives of various technical profiles of the company went to the municipality four times to validate the location, environment, characteristics and communications of the territory.

The decision was made at the beginning of April after a visit by the company’s CEO and directors, all after working together with Acció and the Generalitat’s General Directorate of Industry.

Torrent has highlighted that the installation of this factory “is the largest industrial investment of the ‘greenfield’ type that has been made in Catalonia in the last twenty years” and has described the announcement as magnificent news for the future of the automotive industry.

The CEO of Iljin, Jeon-Sik Yang, has considered that the support of the Generalitat and the town council have been “decisive” for the choice of the location of the factory and has highlighted both the Catalan geographical situation and the temperature of the area, ideal for the production of elecfoil.

A project “decades ahead”

Torrent, has assured that the factory of key battery components for electric cars feeds back both the promoter company, Iljin Materials, and Seat, through the plant it has in Martorell (Barcelona).

“The most important thing was to consolidate the construction of the electric car in Martorell, because without this there were no batteries that were worth it, there was no electric car project that was worth it,” he assured in an interview on TV3 this Monday.

He highlighted the importance of promoting an ecosystem around automotive production and pointed out that Iljin is part of the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation of the Electric and Connected Vehicle (Perte VEC).

long term project

Torrent has assured that it is a long-term project -in his words, measured in terms of decades and not just years- and has announced that the Generalitat will provide direct and indirect aid, without specifying any figure: “Public-private collaboration is important to attract this type of projects”.

Along these lines, he has urged Catalonia to “take advantage”, as in his opinion the Government is doing, of a process of relocating to Europe and attracting companies of Asian origin.

“We detect a very important future path. We have been a power in southern Europe in terms of car production in the 20th century and we want to continue to be in the 21st century,” he concluded.

Foreign investment

The Minister stressed that the investment “is very important from a quantitative point of view but above all qualitative” since Iljin did not have a presence in Catalonia and it is the first factory that the company opens in Europe.

He has assured that Mont-roig del Camp “meets all the expectations or requirements that the company had put on the table”, and has highlighted the local talent of the area and the strategic location of the municipality, for its connection with potential clients and its relationship with Seat and Volkswagen.

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