Ida-Viru company inks electric bus production deal with South Korean firm

South Korean electric vehicles firm Global Phillips has announced plans to start producing electric buses in Ida-Viru County, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Sunday night.

Sung Ho Bang, Global Phillips board chair, said: "I am reassured that the plant has the right conditions to start assembling electric buses," on visiting the location at Ahtme, currently operated by Shroma OÜ, who are partnering Phillips.

The electric buses will be sold on the European market, while Global Phillips' investment is set to be half-a-billion euros, AK reported, and will create around 200 jobs.

Kalvo Salmus, a representative of Shroma OÜ, told AK that: "Since the factory itself will be located in Ida-Virumaa, every job here is important. Within the framework of the current project, I estimate that we get an additional 200 jobs."

It is not yet known when production will start, though Juri Vladimirov, production and development manager at Shroma OÜ, told AK that: "All the initial contracts have been made, now all that is left is to start production, but it is necessary to complete and approve the drawings. If the first bus went into operation this year, we would be very satisfied with it."

Ho Bang was in Ahtme Sunday for the signing of the agreement with Shroma, while Toomas Metlsas, a consultant at Enterprise Estonia's (EAS) foreign investment center, said that value chains such as electrict motor production or component production could emerge in the wake of the new production facility.

A battery manufacturing plant, also in Ida-Viru County and another Estonian-South Korean project, is planned for the future.

Phillips (not to be confused with Dutch global electronics firm Philips, with one "l"), was founded in Birmingham, England, in 1892 and originally made bicycles.

Sung Ho Bang acquired the Phillips brand license in 2017, and e-vehicles production started the following eyar.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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