The site of the UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory is rumoured to be in Wales as AMTE Power and Britishvolt commit to exploring the development of the facility.
The UK-based companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate building the ‘GigaPlant’, which would deliver cells for automotive and energy storage applications.
Of the 42 locations originally considered for the facility only two sites are left in the running, with Bro Tathan in South Wales an odds-on bet due to the Welsh government welcoming the project “with open arms and impeccable due diligence”, according to Britishvolt.
The site also meets the need for import/export accessibility, and being in convenient geographical proximity to customers and local industrial companies.
Britishvolt was founded by Orral Nadjari (who received his masters from Cardiff University) and Lars Carlstrom.
Kevin Brundish, CEO at AMTE Power said: “The recent global crisis has further highlighted the importance of having a robust onshore supply chain, and the creation of a GigaPlant would place the UK in a strong position to service automotive and energy storage markets.
“The scalable production of lithium-ion cells is key to electrifying vehicles and would drive new manufacturing revenues and new employment, and can be built on AMTE’s focus on the supply of specialised cells, thereby continuing the country’s tradition of excellence in battery cell innovation.”
Lars Carlstrom, CEO at Britishvolt, said: “It is costly and carbon-intensive to have lithium-ion batteries imported from the Far East, and this GigaPlant would cement a solid onshore supply chain to ensure quality and eliminate future uncertainty of supply.”
AMTE (formerly the lithium cobalt oxide and lithium manganese oxide firm AGM Batteries) and Britishvolt plan to open at least part of the 35GWh GigaPlant by 2023.
Last week, Britishvolt appointed Isobel Sheldon as chief strategy officer and head of the advisory board with the remit of working towards delivering the UK’s first gigafactory.
Sheldon was recently the engineering and technology director at Johnson Matthey Battery Systems and has more than 20 years of experience in the lithium-ion battery industry.