© Britishvolt Electronics Production | June 15, 2020
Wales preferred as Britishvolt eyes location for Gigafactory
Battery manufacturer Britishvolt has narrowed down its selection down to two promising sites for the UK's first 30 plus GWh gigafactory, from an initial 42 locations, with Bro Tathan in South Wales leading the way.
The battery industry is forecast to be worth GBP 5 billion domestically by 2025, and the demand for lithium ion cells across a number of industries, including vehicle electrification, is already increasing dramatically, and risks becoming constrained as the UK Government strives to meet its Road to Zero targets by 2050. Not only is Britishvolt aiming at filling this gap in the market, but is also moving to leverage the UK's lithium ion battery research development and academic community to ensure the country retains a commercial and technical lead. The initial wave of GBP 1.2 billion of investment into the site will eventually lead to around 3’500 jobs. The firm is also announcing in a press release that it plans to build a solar park alongside the factory, to support sustainable production of batteries and meet low carbon objectives. "We aim to deliver a scalable, onshore production and diverse portfolio of world-class lithium ion batteries, to support the unprecedented transition to electrification – primarily servicing the automotive and energy storage markets. After six months of careful analysis, Bro Tathan is the preferred choice due to number of different factors. The Welsh Government has welcomed us with open arms and impeccable due diligence, and the region meets crucial criteria including import/export accessibility, availability of labour and skilled staff, along with convenient geographical proximity to customers and local industrial companies,” says Lars Carlstrom, CEO at Britishvolt in the press release. According to Lars, the sheer scale of this project means that Britishvolt's gigafactory will have one of the top three largest single footprints in Europe. “The plant will be one km long and 30 metres tall, needing 80 plus hectares of land, and the energy intensive nature of producing lithium ion cells means nearby renewable sources are of huge importance. Our ambition is to become one of the greenest battery producers worldwide, which will be facilitated through the creation of our very own solar park, ensuring a near carbon neutral electricity input,” he says. By the third quarter of 2023, the company plan for the first stage of our plant to be fully functional, and envision that between 40% and 60% of the initial GBP 1.2 billion of investment will be injected directly into the chosen community.