Britishvolt is getting support from Siemens for its planned battery cell factory in the UK. The collaboration will give Britishvolt access to automation and electrification solutions, as well as technology that will enable it to simulate production processes before construction work is completed.
Britishvolt plans to start building the factory in Blyth in the north-east of England in the summer of 2021 and to start production at the end of 2023. In the final stage of expansion, scheduled for 2027, the ‘Gigafactory’ should have an annual production capacity of 300,000 lithium-ion batteries and employ around 3,000 people. The decision to locate the plant in Blyth, Northumberland, came as a surprise in mid-December. Previously, a location in Wales was under consideration.
Britishvolt hopes that the cooperation with Siemens will enable it to meet the ambitious schedule for series production. In addition to production technology, Siemens is also providing Britishvolt with design and simulation tools to transfer lithium-ion battery cells from the laboratory to large-scale production.
“Working with Siemens and utilising its global expertise in Digital Twin and simulation technologies will play a pivotal role in Britishvolt achieving its tight deadlines to begin producing world-class batteries, at scale, by the end of 2023,” said Orral Nadjari, CEO of Britishvolt. The ability to simulate lithium-ion battery production and cell development speeds up a complicated process and enables key batteries to be brought to market faster.
The Blyth manufacturing facility will be built on the 95-acre former site of the town’s power station. The plant will rely on renewable energy to operate, according to Britishvolt. Among other things, the use of Norwegian hydropower via the NSN Link North Sea connection, which is currently under construction, is being investigated. On the British side, the coastal town of Blyth will serve as the starting point for the submarine cables. According to Britishvolt, the investment volume amounts to 2.6 billion pounds or 2.8 billion euros. It is the largest industrial investment in the north-east of England since Nissan settled in Sunderland in 1984, the company points out.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.
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