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Britishvolt and Glencore sign strategic partnership for long-term supply of cobalt

Fri, 09/03/2021 - 15:06 -- paul Crompton

Gigafactory firm Britishvolt has entered a cobalt supply agreement with Glencore as the UK company looks to secure a raw material supply chain for its lithium-ion ambitions.

Britishvolt will take a minimum of 30% of all its cobalt requirements from Switzerland-based Glencore, which has also made an undisclosed investment into the battery hopeful as part of the deal.

Ben Kilbey, chief communications officer at Britishvolt, told BEST there was no timeline on its deal, it was just a “long-term partnership”. 

Britishvolt announced in July it had been granted planning permission to construct its lithium-ion facility in Northumberland, UK.

The project will be built in three, 10GWh phases to a total capacity of 30GWh from 2027 onwards.

Orral Nadjari, Britishvolt CEO/founder said that by partnering with Glencore, the firm was able to “lock in supply” and “derisk the project”.

He said: “Cobalt is a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries and knowing that we are being supplied with responsibly produced cobalt is a signal to the market that we are living by our values.”

David Brocas, head cobalt trader, Glencore, said: “As the mobility and energy transition accelerates, so does future demand for battery metals such as cobalt, copper and nickel.”

Britishvolt is on target to manufacture some of the world’s most sustainable, low carbon battery cells on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard located in Cambois, Northumberland.

Britishvolt is part of a consortium of seven UK-based organisations that have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop prototype solid-state batteries for automotive applications. 

Britishvolt signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Welsh government in July, 2020, but within a month had announced it was planning to build its plant in Northumberland.

BEST interviewed the firm’s chief strategy officer Isobel Sheldon about the company’s plans to build the UK’s first gigafactory in the Autumn 2020 edition of the magazine. You can read the interview here

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