Britishvolt receives £1.7 billion in funding
By Julian Buckley24 January 2022
The UK government has announced that it has put forward an offer in principal to Britishvolt (BV) for £1.7 billion ($2.3 billion) in private funding. The funds will be supported by the Automotive Transformation Fund and delivered by the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
The money will be used to support construction of BV’s full-scale gigaplant factory which will manufacture electric vehicle battery cells.
“The news is the first step in creating a commercialised battery ecosystem that perfectly aligns with the existing R&D ecosystem,” said Peter Rolton, Britishvolt executive chairman. “Britishvolt will be the anchor for attracting further sections of the supply chain, be it refining or recycling, to co-locate on the BV site.
“This not only shortens supply chains, but also allows for partners to access the abundance of renewable energy on site to truly power low carbon, sustainable battery production.”
Located in Northumberland, in NE England, on the site of the former Blyth Power Station, the gigaplant will produce enough low-carbon cells for more than 300,000 EVs each year. Currently, this amounts to 25% of UK production.
Production is estimated to be the equivalent of 48 GWh. UK auto industry lobby group the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says that a minimum of 60 GWh will be required by 2030 to support production of up to 1 million EVs in the UK.
Tritax and abrdn will be project partners. Tritax is an investor in European logistics real estate, while abrdn manages global real estate assets.
Development of the 93-hectare site is currently being carried out by BV construction partner ISG.
This funding announcement will be followed by a series of announcements covering customer MoUs, OEM partnerships and other technology releases.
It is reported that the new plant will create up to 3000 new direct jobs, plus a further 5000 indirect positions in the wider UK supply chain.