The German engineering company Manz has received an order from Britishvolt to supply machines for the first expansion stage of the factory being built in Northumberland in northern England. Britishvolt intends to manufacture lithium-ion cells there with an initial volume of four GWh.
Manz has said that the order volume for this first expansion stage is more than 70 million euros. The preliminary work for the cell factory in Blyth began in September. A special feature of the plant is what Manz says is a “novel and forward-looking concept” that allows a high degree of flexibility and also adaptation to future market requirements for cell formats and geometries.
Delivery of the equipment is scheduled for 2023, with production starting towards the end of the same year. The German supplier, based in Reutlingen, promises that the “performance and cost-efficiency of production will be significantly improved.”
As part of the collaboration, there are plans to implement additional lines for cylindrical and prismatic cells in both England and Canada. These are expected to increase Britishvolt’s total production capacity to well over 100 GWh.
Manz CEO Martin Drasch praised the early timing of Britishvolt’s order: “The dynamics in the e-mobility market is rapidly picking up pace. In view of the large number of announced projects in Europe for battery lines, it is only a matter of time before the mechanical engineering sector reaches its limits in terms of development and production capacities,” Drasch said. “With the investment in the English location in the county of Northumberland, Britishvolt is now securing the resources required for its growth strategy from us in time.”
Drasch went on to say that the two companies are aiming to make production more sustainable with a reduction of energy use as well as striving to reduce the total cost of ownership for customers, which should be achieved by means of a continuously automated process optimisation with the use of artificial intelligence.
Tomin Orlob, COO of Britishvolt said: “Manz AG, with their engineering and automation experience and expertise, as well as already being well-positioned and aligned to our potential customers, clearly understanding latest trends and market requirements. As such, Manz AG is the right partner for our initial production equipment.”
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