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‘Gigaplant’ factory site switched from Wales to Northumberland

11 December 2020
Image: Dreamstime

Lithium-ion battery manufacturer Britishvolt has scrapped plans to build the UK’s first ‘gigaplant’ battery factory in Bro Tathan in Wales, in favour of a plant at Blyth in Northumberland.

Britishvolt is now expected to invest £2.6bn in the site, which it claims was one of the largest industrial investments in the North East of England since the arrival of Nissan in 1984.

Consultant Ridge and the Rolton Group will collaborate with Italian design house Pininfarina, to design, engineer and build the plant.

Britishvolt said construction would start in Blyth, on the former location of Blyth power station, in summer 2021, with batteries in production by 2023.

Britishvolt CEO, Orral Nadjari “We are delighted to have secured this site in Blyth. This is a tremendous moment both for Britishvolt and UK industry. Now we can really start the hard work and begin producing lithium-ion batteries for future electrified vehicles in just three years. It is crucial for the UK automotive industry and for the entire economy that we are able to power the future. The sooner we start, the better.

“Blyth meets all of our exacting requirements and could be tailor made. It is on the doorstep of major transport links, easily accessible renewable energy and the opportunity for a co-located supply chain, meets our target to make our gigaplant the world’s cleanest and greenest battery facility.  We have had an extremely warm welcome from Ian Levy MP and Northumberland County Council and are looking forward to working with them closely on this project.”

Comments

As a matter of interest, have Ian Levy MP and Northumberland County Council ever seen how a lithium ion battery behaves in a fire?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=XT1B27DAATs

More to the point, have fire-fighters been trained to tackle future roadside conflagrations? We are at risk of another case of technology marching ahead of our ability to deal with its consequences.

Chris Pateman, 14 December 2020