Startup gets planning permission for electric car battery ‘gigaplant’ in north-east England

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Planning approval has been given for an electric car battery ‘gigaplant’ in the north-east of England.


Britishvolt, a UK startup, said it plans to break ground at the site in Northumberland by the end of this summer after the planning was approved on Tuesday


The plant will need GBP2.6bn of funding, though it is not clear how much of this the company has secured.


However, construction company ISG has been hired as lead contractor, Britishvolt said, and the project will be built in three phases each of 10GWh capacity.


The company aims for the 235-acre former Blyth Power Station site near the village of Cambois to eventually reach its total capacity of 30GWh of lithium-ion batteries “by end-2027 onwards”, enough for 300,000 electric cars per year.


Britishvolt, which is privately owned by Swedish entrepreneur Lars Carlstrom and Abu Dhabi financier Orral Nadjari, has said battery production should begin at the end of 2023.


Northumberland council leader Glen Sanderson said: “It’s a real game changer for Northumberland. It’s fantastic news – not just for the local area, but the wider county and the whole region. It’s the biggest investment in living memory.”


Britishvolt chairman Peter Rolton, an engineer who has previously helped develop strategy for the government on renewables and low carbon technologies, said: “This is a huge win, not only for Britishvolt, but also the people of Northumberland.


“The gigaplant will bring with it much need employment, totally regenerating the area. Britishvolt has a strong social values agenda, as well as a world-class environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework. At our very heart is doing the right thing. This project is the right thing for UK plc, and its people, on the roadmap to a low carbon, sustainable future.”

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