Britishvolt moves battery gigafactory plan to Northumberland

December 11, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
Britishvolt moves battery gigafactory plan to Northumberland
UK startup Britishvolt has selected Blyth in Northumberland as the site of its first battery gigafactory, replacing plans for a plant in Wales.

The company hopes to raise $2.6bn to build the lithium ion battery gigafactory with production by the end of 2023, well behind other European plants. The new site brings benefits for using renewable energy from offshore wind farms and hydroelectric energy from Norway via an undersea power cable.

Panasonic is looking at building a plant in Norway to make use of hydroelectric energy.

Britishvolt has also announced it will build its headquarters in the west Midlands close to a number of automotive suppliers.

The gigafactory in Blyth will be on the site of a former power station and Britishvolt plans to start construction in the summer of 2021. The £2.6bn investment would be the largest industrial investment in the North East since Nissan’s arrival in 1984 and one of the largest-ever industrial investments in the UK. By the final phase of the project in 2027 the company says it will employ up to 3000 staff and produce 300,000 lithium-ion batteries for the UK automotive industry.

“Now we can really start the hard work and begin producing lithium-ion batteries for future electrified vehicles in just three years,” said Orral Nadjari, CEO of Britishvolt. “It is crucial for the UK automotive industry and for the entire economy that we are able to power the future. The sooner we start, the better.

“Blyth meets all of our exacting requirements and could be tailor made. It is on the doorstep of major transport links, easily accessible renewable energy and the opportunity for a co-located supply chain, meets our target to make our gigaplant the world’s cleanest and greenest battery facility,” he said.

The planned headquarters will be based at the MIRA Technology Park Campus near Coventry, which also houses 35 OEMs and Tier 1 automotive suppliers as well as 40 test facilities. Horiba MIRA has a key capability in battery development, enabling end-to-end engineering and test solutions for cell, modules

The power station at Blyth being demolished. Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons

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