Minister Torrent: "The ILJIN Materials investment project in Catalonia will play a key role in establishing our technological sovereignty"
07 Nov 2022
- The Minister for Business and Labour visited the factory that the South Korean battery components company has in Malaysia on Monday to learn first-hand about the multiplier effect it has had for local suppliers.
- ILJIN Materials will invest 600 million euros and create 500 jobs with the opening of a production plant in Mont-roig del Camp (Tarragona) out of which it will manufacture a basic component of lithium batteries
- This visit is part of Minister Torrent's institutional trip to Asia, which will continue until Friday in Japan to position Catalonia in the fields of semiconductors and hydrogen
The Minister for Business and Labour, Roger Torrent, stated on Monday that "ILJIN Materials' investment project in Catalonia will be key to contributing to the country's technological sovereignty in a sector so strategic such as the electric battery sector".
A project that, furthermore, "shows that we have a lot to say in the future of the automotive industry: we have a strong industrial presence in this field, and we have the assets to play a key role in the transformation process of the sector." Torrent made these declarations during a meeting in Kuching (Malaysia) with executives from the South Korean battery components company ILJIN Materials, accompanied by the directors ofCatalonia Trade & Investment's Seoul and Singapore offices, Hee Yeon Lee and Jordi Maluquer de Motes.
The Minister for Business and Labour visited the premises of the multinational's Malaysian factory, opened in 2019 with a current workforce of over 700 employees.
Therefore, Torrent was able to get to know first-hand how the production plant is operated and the multiplier effect it has had for local suppliers, as is expected to happen with the new factory that the company will open in Mont-roig del Camp (Tarragona) in early 2025.
The minister explained that this investment project "will not only transform the region economically but will also be fundamental in explaining to the world why Catalonia can be one of the European epicenters in building the new electric and connected automotive industry".
The ILJIN Materials project in Catalonia – which has been managed by the teams in Barcelona and from Catalonia Trade & Investment's Seoul office – includes an investment of 600 million euros and the creation of 500 jobs. It is the largest greenfield industrial investment (investments of companies with no previous presence in a country) carried out in Catalonia over the last 20 years.
The new plant will produce elecfoil, a copper sheet patented by the multinational that is thinner than human hair and is a basic part of lithium batteries. In this sense, for Torrent, ILJIN's investment in Catalonia "is strategically important and of high added value for Catalonia", given that it is a key component in the cathode composition of electric batteries used in electric vehicles and in energy storage applications.
During the work meeting with executives from the South Korean company, the Minister emphasized that "Catalonia is home to manufacturing companies, top-level suppliers throughout the value chain, technology centers, trade fairs and universities and top-level vocational training centers in these areas".
Torrent also referred to Catalonia’s "geostrategic position, key infrastructures such as the Port of Barcelona and the Government's commitment to creating a Public Office for the Transformation of the Mobility and Automotive Industries (OPTIMA) to accompany the sector during this transformation process".
This visit is part of Minister Torrent's institutional trip to Asia, which will last until Friday in Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan, where he will meet with local companies and technology centers in the semiconductor and hydrogen sectors.
During the meetings the Minister will present Catalonia’s assets positioning the region as an investment destination in these sectors and to promote technological and innovation collaboration between both countries. The Minister for Business and Labour will also meet with Japanese companies that are already established in Catalonia.
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