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UK gigafactory

Britishvolt ups the ante as it gains planning permission for UK lithium-ion gigafactory

Tue, 07/27/2021 - 12:58 -- Vic
Britishvolt gigafactory

Gigafactory developer Britishvolt, has been granted planning permission to construct its first full-scale lithium-ion facility in Northumberland, UK.

The decision puts Britishvolt on target to manufacture cells on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal-stocking yard located in Cambois.

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

Once at full capacity, the facility will have a production capability equating to enough cells for around 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs per year.

Peter Rolton, Britishvolt chairman, said: “This is a huge win, not only for Britishvolt, but also the people of Northumberland. The Gigaplant will bring with it much need 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.”

The development is a major boon for the area, and indeed the country, and will bring around 3,000 direct highly skilled jobs and another 5,000+ in the associated supply chains. 

Graham Hoare, Britishvolt president of operations, said: “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.”

Approval of the plans for the Gigaplant in Northumberland has been described as a ‘game changer’ by the county council.

Gigafactory plan two

The move puts Britishvolt a step ahead of Envision Group, which joined the race to build the UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory earlier this month.

The company will invest £450 million ($622 million) to build the gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).

Formal planning for an initial 9GWh plant is about to begin. 

Gigafactory plan three

Also in the race is Coventry City Council, which has entered into a joint venture partnership with Coventry Airport Ltd to bring forward proposals for the UK’s first Gigafactory on the site of Coventry Airport. 

Coventry has been chosen as the preferred site across the West Midlands and has now submitted a full planning application for a 5.7m sq ft Gigafactory on the site.

Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council said: "The submission of a planning application for a Gigafactory is the important next step as we seek to deliver battery production for the West Midlands. We are the ideal location for a Gigafactory as the home of the UK automotive sector, alongside world-leading research in battery technology.”

The West Midlands is home to 28% of the UK’s automotive talent, with an advanced automotive skills ecosystem.

Coventry & Warwickshire has emerged as a centre of excellence for battery technology and has successfully facilitated the delivery of UKBIC, working with a local partnership that includes WMG at Warwick University and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). 

Coventry is home to the global headquarters of Jaguar Land Rover – the UK’s largest carmaker – whilst LEVC, BMW, Aston Martin Lagonda, Lotus, TATA Motors and many others are based in the wider West Midlands.

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UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) opens for business

Mon, 07/26/2021 - 12:49 -- Vic
Jeff Pratt, Managing Director, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit

A pioneering 18,500m2 national battery manufacturing development facility has been officially opened in Coventry, UK.

The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) facility will support UK industry with development of battery technologies as the UK  aims to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050 and the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans to be banned by 2030.

UKBIC can be used by any organisation that can benefit from finding out whether their advanced battery technologies can be scaled up successfully before committing to the huge investment required for mass production. 

The facility employs more than 80 battery technicians, engineers, and support staff, with plans for that number to grow to support future project partnerships with industry and research organisations.

Jeff Pratt, UKBIC’s managing director, said: “I’m delighted that UKBIC is open for business. Completed at deliberate speed during the pandemic, UKBIC is a key part of the UK Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge.” 

In addition to funding from the Faraday Battery Challenge through UK Research and Innovation, UKBIC is also part-funded through the West Midlands Combined Authority. The project has been delivered through a consortium of Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and WMG, at the University of Warwick.

"UKBIC was created in 2018 following a competition led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre with support from Innovate UK.

David Greenwood, professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems, WMG at the University of Warwick said, “At the heart of the UK battery manufacturing landscape, this national infrastructure exists nowhere else in Europe, and gives the UK a major advantage for development of new battery technologies. 

"We continue to work very closely with UKBIC, with the focus at WMG in helping companies and universities prove out their battery chemistries and cell designs, ready for industrialisation at UKBIC. Together, we have built an ecosystem which allows battery companies to investigate new technologies, prove them out, then industrialise for high volume manufacture.”

Sarah Windrum, chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “The submission of a planning application for a Gigafactory is the important next step as we seek to deliver battery production for the West Midlands”

Ian Constance, CEO of the Advanced Propulsion Centre said: “There’s billions of pounds of opportunity in the UK to manufacture the low-carbon technology needed by the automotive and clean-tech sectors. Recent announcements by Nissan and Stellantis to expand their electric vehicle operations here demonstrate the UK’s globally recognised expertise and capability in clean innovation.

Read the full article from BESTs visit to this state-of-the-art facility in the summer issue of BEST magazine.


The photo is of managing director Jeff Pratt, with prime minister Boris Johnson during his visit.

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