(Yicai Global) Dec. 10 -- Samsung SDI, the battery maker unit of Yongin, South Korea-based multinational Samsung, plans to invest CNY10.5 billion (USD1.5 billion) to restart the second phase of its power battery plant in Xi'an in northwestern China's Shaanxi province in the firm's single biggest investment worldwide in recent years.
The company will build a 160,000 square-meter plant equipped with five production lines for 60Ah lithium-ion power batteries suitable for mini passenger cars. Samsung SDI projects mass production in 2023, insiders told Yicai Global.
The first phase of the Xi'an plant concluded and went into operation in 2015. It could not list as a standardized company in China's automotive power battery industry and therefore did not qualify for a local government subsidy.
Lacking price competitiveness as a result, it thus shelved the project's planned phase two at the start of last year.
Both Chinese automotive power battery and hydrogen fuel cell white lists included the firm this year, but though it will not immediately get the subsidy, its technology has won recognition in China's industry circles sectors.
Korean companies will reap greater opportunities with the steady, rapid growth of the Chinese new energy vehicle market, a Korean securities analyst said.
The company's production of automotive power batteries reached 2.4 gigawatt hours in global markets last year in an annual 85 percent surge, per statistics from Korean market analytics firm SNE Research.
It ranks Samsung SDI as the world's six-largest power battery maker, online electric vehicle sector newsletter electrive.com reported.
The firm also has a battery factory in the eastern Chinese city of Tianjin.
Editor: Ben Armour