There’s No Stopping Britishvolt
Selecting Northumberland as its site for the factory in December 2020, Britishvolt’s plans for the region means that it will be home to one of the UK’s largest gigafactory and industrial investments.
Speaking to Orral Nadjari, Founder and CEO of Britishvolt in April 2021, Nadjari explained to Manufacturing Global Britishvolt’s mission. “Britishvolt is a large full-scale lithium-ion (and beyond) electric vehicle battery manufacturer, aiming to assist the government’s 10-point plan to decarbonise.”
Being the UK’s first and largest gigafactory, Britishvolt aims to achieve its mission “by assisting UK PLC and safeguarding the auto industry, as it transitions to electrification.
“The UK has long been a hub of world-leading research and development, the battery space is no different. We are looking to collaborate with industry partners and government-funded agencies like the Faraday Battery Challenge to take that embedded industrial brilliance and scale it up for commercial success,” added Nadjari.
Investing £2.6bn into the facility, the gigafactory plans to produce enough cells for 300,000 lithium-ion battery packs a year by the time it is fully operational in 2027, with the help of its supply chain partners and green low carbon energy production.
ISG Commences Works in Northumberland
With ISG commencing enabling works in Northumberland, the announcement represents a major milestone for the company in achieving its mission to assist vehicle OEMs on their journey to electrification.
“Today is a historic day as it marks the start of construction on the UK’s premier Gigaplant, Britishvolt – a landmark event for UK manufacturing and the automotive industry on the road to zero. It is a pleasure to see our tier one construction partner ISG, and its world-class workforce, commence preliminary works on site ahead of the main construction programme, which we anticipate will start in late autumn/early winter. This initial phase will see the site cleared and preparatory work carried out for the services and infrastructure that will support construction activity. This is yet another milestone on our journey to building the UK’s first full-scale Gigaplant. It’s a boost for UK plc and the real kick-start of the energy transition, of which Britishvolt batteries will be at the very heart,” said Richard McDonell, Project Director, Britishvolt.
“The positive momentum, passion and sense of genuine excitement that underpins this nationally important project is driving the entire team forward at pace, and this significant construction milestone demonstrates our collective commitment to UK manufacturing and to supporting communities across Northumberland. This is the starting point for the transformation of a disused site in Cambois with a legacy in the industrial past, that from today will become a beacon for innovation and advanced manufacturing right here in the North East,” added Peter Millett, High Tech Managing Director, ISG Engineering Services business.
“It's great to see work starting on the ground on a site which the council and partners have been actively engaged on in recent years to make it an attractive proposition for investors. Since we granted planning permission work behind the scenes has continued at pace so to see enabling works getting underway is fantastic - not just for the council and Britishvolt, but for everyone in the county,” said Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council.
Not only is Britishvolt commencing enabling works on the Gigafactory in Cambois, Northumberland, but the company has also recently announced a strategic partnership with Glencore for the long-term supply of cobalt; joined Make UK, the Manufacturers’ Organisation; and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with seven UK organisations top develop world-class, solid-state battery technology for vehicles.