Britishvolt announce construction of the first UK lithium-ion Gigaplant

Britishvolt – a pioneer of the battery industry – has received approval for building the UK’s first full-scale lithium-ion Gigaplant, a significant development in the transition to electric vehicles.

A UK leader in the research and development and production of lithium-ion battery cell technologies, Britishvolt has been granted planning permission to commence construction of what will be the UK’s first full-scale lithium-ion Gigaplant.

This development demonstrates the ambitions of both Britishvolt and the UK, with the Gigaplant signifying a monumental step in becoming global leaders in the production of electric vehicle batteries and obtaining the nations net-zero targets.

Britishvolt: Investing in the future

The Britishvolt lithium-ion Gigaplant will be situated in the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard in Northumberland, with building due to start by the end of summer, with tier one partner ISG chosen as the lead contractor for the project. The Gigaplant will be a major coup for Northumberland and the rest of the UK, with the endeavour creating around 8,000 jobs in total. The project is one of the most substantial investments in the UK’s manufacturing history, with Britishvolt financing £2.6bn into the Gigaplant. The venture will see Britishvolt move closer to reaching its target of assisting vehicle OEMs on their roadmap to electrifications.

© iStock/Firstsignal

Peter Rolton, the Chairman of Britishvolt, said: “This is a huge win, not only for Britishvolt but also the people of Northumberland. The Gigaplant will bring with it much needed employment, totally regenerating the area. Britishvolt has a strong social values agenda, as well as a world-class Environmental, Social and Governance framework. At our very heart is doing the right thing. This project is the right thing for UK plc, and its people, on the roadmap to a low carbon, sustainable future.”

Creating new careers

The lithium-ion Gigaplant will create around 3,000 highly skilled jobs, and an additional 5,000 jobs in the associated supply chains, with the Northumberland council describing the development as a ‘game-changer’. The project will enable the UK to edge closer to its climate targets as it strives to become a carbon-neutral society, as it also aligns with the country’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Graham Hoare, the President of Operations of Britishvolt, said: “This is a truly monumental moment for the UK as we move towards a low carbon society. We are clearly at a tipping point on the roadmap to electrification, and the UK government has signalled that it wants UK plc at the vanguard of the next industrial revolution. This is the starting gun for hugely ambitious plans to put the UK at the very heart of the energy transition.”

Glen Sanderson, the leader of the Northumberland council, said: “We’re absolutely delighted this Gigaplant has been granted planning permission. It’s a real game-changer for Northumberland. It’s fantastic news – not just for the local area, but the wider county and the whole region. It’s the biggest investment in living memory. We have a long and proud history of industry in this part of Northumberland, and a factory and investment of this size will put this area firmly on the map once again for generations to come.

“Here in Northumberland, we’re at the forefront of the offshore renewable energy industry, and this is a massive boost. The decision by Britishvolt to choose Northumberland demonstrates just what this county has to offer in terms of its location, its facilities, an ambitious Council, and, more importantly, its workforce. This will not only provide a huge economic upturn; it means 3,000 jobs onsite and thousands more in the supply chain.”

The lithium-ion Gigaplant will be built in three phases of 10GWh, reaching a total capacity of 30GWh by the end of 2027, at which point it will be able to manufacture over 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs annually, which will be primarily for the automotive industry.

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