ISG starts construction of ‘UK’s first gigaplant’

By Leila Steed16 September 2021

A rendered design image of Britishvolt A rendered design image of the Britishvolt gigaplant in Northumberland. ©2021 Britishvolt

ISG has started enabling works for the construction of the UK’s first low-carbon battery cell manufacturing gigaplant in Northumberland.

Believed to be only the second such plant in Europe, the 30GWh gigaplant – known as Britishvolt – is now being built on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard in Cambois. 

The plant is due to be completed in 2027, at which time it will produce enough power cells for 300,000 electric vehicles, helping the UK to reach its low-carbon targets. 

ISG has now begun site clearance and preparatory works for the facility’s services and associated infrastructure, ahead of the start of main construction works at the end of this year.

Peter Millett, High Tech Managing Director for ISG’s Engineering Services business, said, “This is the starting point for the transformation of a disused site in Cambois with a legacy in the industrial past, that from today will become a beacon for innovation and advanced manufacturing right here in the North East.”

“The positive momentum, passion and sense of genuine excitement that underpins this nationally important project is driving the entire team forward at pace, and this significant construction milestone demonstrates our collective commitment to UK manufacturing and to supporting communities across Northumberland.”

While planning approval for the manufacturing facility was granted back in July, owning company Power by Britishvolt Ltd, has only just given the go-ahead for works to begin.

According to Britishvolt, the facility will be built in three phases and will directly create around 3,000 skilled jobs, plus an additional 5,000 associated jobs in the supply chain. 

Richard McDonell, Britishvolt Project Director, said, “This is yet another milestone on our journey to building the UK’s first full-scale Gigaplant. It’s a boost for UK plc and the real kick-start of the energy transition, of which Britishvolt batteries will be at the very heart.

“This is an exciting announcement and marks the tangible start and progress of the main factory building where we will be producing some of the world’s lowest carbon, sustainable battery cells to help accelerate the transition to a low carbon future.”

In addition to this latest news, Britishvolt has also signed an agreement with supply chain software specialist Circulor that see it track the building’s entire CO2 footprint, both during its construction and operation.

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