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SHANGHAI, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Chinese battery maker CATL 300750.SZ said on Friday it planned to invest 7.34 billion euros ($7.56 billion) in a giant new plant in Hungary that will supply major European automakers.
CATL said the move was aimed at meeting the needs of overseas markets and construction of the 100 GWh (gigawatt hours) plant in eastern Hungary's Debrecen city would start this year, after receiving approvals, and should last no more than 64 months.
The plant, which will be CATL's second in Europe, will produce battery cells and modules for European automakers including Mercedes-Benz MBGn.DE, BMW BMWG.DE, Stellantis STLA.MI and Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE, the company said in a separate statement.
The expansion comes as European automakers are accelerating a transition to electric vehicles in their home markets, prompting surging demand for batteries from local suppliers.
Mercedes said in a separate statement it would be the first partner to be supplied with battery cells from CATL's Hungarian plant, with the largest initial order volume.
($1 = 0.9708 euros)
(Reporting by Zhang Yan, Brenda Goh Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)
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