Opel to invest 500 million euros in Hungary plant
German automaker Opel, part of US giant General Motors, will invest 500 million euros to expand its manufacturing plant in western Hungary, the economy ministry said Tuesday.
"Opel, through an investment of 500 million euros (656 million dollars) will expand its plant in Szentgotthard," the ministry said in a statement.
Hungary will contribute some 7.5 billion forint (27 million euros, 35 million dollars) to the project, which will create some 1,000 jobs by 2012, as well as another 2,500 to 3,000 indirectly via suppliers, the ministry said.
"This investment will contribute to our plan to create one million jobs over the next 10 years," Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a joint press conference with Opel Vice-President Reinald Hoben.
"The plant won a tough competition, but our decision was helped by the qualified and motivated workforce that Hungary has to offer," Hoben added.
The expanded production plant, which will be operational by November 2012, was proof of the return of international investor confidence to Hungary, the economy ministry noted in its statement.
The biggest investment by General Motors in Central Europe, the project would also help Hungary reach its forecast economic growth of 2.5-3.0 percent in 2011, the ministry said.
Opel, which has been present in Hungary for 20 years, will produce three different types of engines at its new expanded plant, to comply with "Euro 6" European emmission standards.
At peak capacity, expected by 2015, the new engine plant will be capable of producing up to 500,000 engines annually.
Two other major German carmakers are present in Hungary: Audi in Gyor in the west, and Mercedes-Benz which is building a new plant in Kecskemet, in the southeast of the country, that is due to be operational by 2012.
© 2010 AFP