Northern News

Britishvolt to Build £2.6bn Battery “Gigafactory” in Northumberland

Energy startup Britishvolt has announced plans to build the UK’s first “Gigafactory” at a former industrial site near Blyth, Northumberland.

The site, at Cambois and formerly part of the coal-fired Blyth Power Stations site prior to their demolition in 2003, will be used to develop and produce lithium-ion batteries for use in electric and electrified vehicles.

Britishvolt is set to start construction on the plant — called a gigafactory for its ability to produce more than 1GWh of battery capacity annually — by summer 2021, projecting it to be operational by the end of 2023.

Full capacity is expected by 2027, with 300,000 lithium-ion batteries produced annually, providing 3,000 direct jobs to the northeast and 5,000 further supply chain jobs. That’s just in time for the UK Goverment’s planned ban on non-electrified vehicles in 2030.

The 95-hectare site is ideally placed to take advantage of renewable energy. Not only is Cambois close to the Blyth Offshore Windfarm, it’s also the onshoring location of the North Sea Link power line. This connects the power grids of the UK and Norway with a 1.4GW undersea connector, bringing hydroelectric power in from Norway.

In total Britishvolt will invest £2.6bn in the site, one of the largest ever industrial investments in the northeast. The building itself will be among the largest ever constructed in the UK, at more than 350,000 square metres.

Blyth Valley MP, Ian Levy, comments:

This is an incredibly exciting announcement that will have a massive impact in the constituency and the surrounding area for decades to come. I can’t think of anything comparable in the North East since Nissan invested in Sunderland more than 35 years ago.

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