Korean battery components company to build factory in Mont-roig del Camp employing 500 people

ILJIN Materials will be operational by 2024

2 min

BarcelonaSouth Korean company ILJIN Materials, a manufacturer of battery components, will build a factory in Mont-roig del Camp (Baix Camp) which will employ 500 people. This is its first production plant in Europe, entailing a €600m investment. Catalan Enterprise and Employment minister Roger Torrent, who announced the new investment after meeting in Seoul with company executives, stressed the importance of the agreement, since ILJIN is "one of the only companies in the world" dedicated to the manufacture of copper foil for electric vehicle batteries and electronic products.

It is expected to be operational from 2024, with a surface area of 30,000 m² between the factory, the warehouse areas and a technical building. ILJIN Materials was founded in 1968, is headquartered in Seoul and has 1,100 employees worldwide. Since its foundation, it has had a production plant in Iksan (South Korea), and a few years ago it built a second factory in Malaysia. The company has customers such as LG Energy Solutions, Samsung SDI, Volkswagen and Northvolt, among others.

Torrent stressed that the operation responds to the Government's desire to "reindustrialise" the country "along green lines, with projects which have a high technological value, which generate quality employment and are aligned with society's collective challenges". For this reason, he pointed out the importance of closing the agreement with ILJIN, a company which is "very well positioned" in the value chain.

He also highlighted the company's dedication to research and development, since it patented a total of 91 projects since 2016. "It is a company which is connected to new technologies, which will boost the economy as a whole," Torrent stated. In turn, he recalled that this is "magnificent" news for the future of the automotive industry in Catalonia and thanked the company for its confidence in the Catalan productive ecosystem. "They have valued our strategic situation, the human talent and the contribution of the administrations involved," he concluded.

Copper foil thinner than human hair

The company manufactures a product called elecfoil, a copper foil for which it holds a patent which is thinner than human hair and is a basic element for lithium batteries. According to the Government, this fact makes ILJIN's investment "strategic and of high added value" for Catalonia, since it is a "key" component for the composition of cathodes used in electric vehicle batteries and in energy storage applications. In fact, this investment is expected to have a strong multiplier effect for local suppliers, as happened in Malaysia, and the attraction of new foreign investment projects linked to this field. According to the company's CEO, Jeon-Sik Yang, one of the reasons why they decided to choose Catalonia was the climate, since temperatures in Mont-roig del Camp is ideal for the production of this material.

Satisfaction in Mont-roig del Camp

The mayor of Mont-roig del Camp, Fran Morancho, has celebrated the announcement assuring that, "when the administrations agree and work together, things work out well". In this sense, he recalled that tourism and the service sector account for almost 90% of the local economy, and the factory will help them to "diversify".

He also stressed that the town's location was decisive in convincing the company, and explained that town council officials will soon visit ILJIN's Malaysia facotry. "They have brought us a lot of information, but, even so, we want to go and see what industry we are talking about, we want to tell neighbours what will be built in our area because of its importance", he added.