A £1.2 Billion deal is close to being signed to bring over 3,500 and up to 15,000 jobs with a new massive car batteries plant adjacent to the Aston Martin Lagonda facility at St Athan, in the Vale of Glamorgan.
UK start-up battery manufacturer Britishvolt has shortlisted the site at the former RAF base next to where AML (above) started making their luxury DBX SUV in December and where it also plans to assemble its fully electric luxury sports saloon in a couple of years.
That time-frame will fall in very conveniently to the Britishvolt investment announced this morning for the UK’s first 30-plus gigafactory at Bro Tathan.
The Britishvolt GigaPlant will be situated in 80+ hectares of green industrial park, with a production capacity of up to 35 GWH. Britishvolt will be a global leader in producing high performance green lithium Ion batteries used by car makers and in other power generation industries as well as for energy storage by power businesses. It will become one of the largest industrial investments in British history.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said, “We have been working with Britishvolt on this project for a significant period of time and we are very pleased they have shortlisted Bro Tathan as a location for its landmark gigafactory. We firmly believe that Bro Tathan provides a compelling case particularly for a company looking to become one of the greenest battery producers worldwide.
“We will continue to work closely with Britishvolt on a range of issues, including localising their supply chain, to secure this investment which would be transformative post-coronavirus both in terms of the nature of the technologies adopted and the scale of employment opportunities.”
The battery industry is forecast to be worth £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 filling this gap in the market, but is also moving to leverage the UK’s world-leading lithium ion battery research development and academic community to ensure the country retains a commercial and technical lead.
The initial wave of £1.2 billion of investment into the site will create 1,200 jobs but eventually two further phases will lead to around 3,500 jobs in total, but you can double that when adding the component supply chain and probable R&D and other academic jobs.
The firm is also announcing plans to build a solar park alongside the factory, to support sustainable production of batteries and meet low carbon objectives, ensuring the firm plays a true and active part in the global green agenda and this fulfills the Welsh Government’s drive to be the greenest region in the UK and one of the leading low carbon engineering centres of excellence.
“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 per cent of the initial £1.2 billion of investment will be injected directly into the chosen community, representing a real catalyst for growth in the local economy and the UK.”
Lars is a Swedish entrepreneur who loves the automotive sector and pulled together potential buyers for the troubled Saab car business over a decade ago and he bought a 9-5 model.