Battery manufacturer Britishvolt has chosen South Wales as one of the locations for the first gigafactory in the UK.
The UK battery industry is expected to be worth £5bn by 2025, with the growth of electric vehicles driving a demand for lithium ion cells. This is expected to increase as the UK government works to meet its Road to Zero target by 2050. Factories that produce lithium ion batteries are referred to as gigafactories.
The company has narrowed down the location of the 30 plus GWh gigafactory from 42 locations to two, with Bro Tathan business park in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, named as one of the locations.
Once built, the battery gigafactory will be the first in the UK, and will have one of the largest footprints in Europe.
Considering the energy-intensive nature of lithium ion cell production, Britishvolt has also announced plans to build a solar park next to the factory in order to facilitate the sustainable battery production and meet low carbon objectives.
The factory, which is expected to bring in £1.2bn in investment, is expected to create around 3500 new jobs in the area, and will join Aston Martin’s electric car plant, which opened in the business park last year.
Lars Carlstrom, CEO at Britishvolt said:
“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.
“Our state of the art and high efficiency gigaplant will employ at least 3,500 local Welsh people. These will be across a wide range of disciplines and will create a local ecosystem of 10,000 to 15,000 further jobs for the wider supply chain – including material suppliers, contractors and local services. By the third quarter of 2023, we plan for the first stage of our plant to be fully functional, and envision that between 40 and 60% of the initial £1.2bn of investment will be injected directly into the chosen community, representing a real catalyst for growth in the local economy and the UK.”