Britishvolt’s planned cell factory likely to face final curtain

The plans for a battery cell factory in Blyth in the northern English county of Northumberland are on the brink of cancellation. According to media reports, the planned site is to be sold to a company that intends to build a large data centre there.

Image: Britishvolt

The site in Blyth has been hanging in the balance for months. After the battery startup Britishvolt had to file for insolvency at the beginning of 2023 and there was subsequently a lot of fuss about the new Britishvolt owner Recharge Industries, Northumberland County Council now apparently wants to sell the site intended for the battery factory to the company Blackstone. This has been reported by several major British media houses. The company is planning to build a large data centre on site, they say. After more than three years, the vision of a battery cell factory near the harbour city would have finally failed.

Britishvolt wanted to create up to 3,000 jobs in Blyth with its battery plant. However, reports of a difficult financial situation at Britishvolt persisted as early as 2022, before the company actually had to file for insolvency in early 2023. After a few weeks, the US-Australian company Recharge Industries took over the insolvent British battery startup, but difficulties in rescuing the company and its planned cell factory were already emerging in August 2023.

The BBC reported at the time, citing documents from the auditing firm EY, that Recharge Industries had not made the final instalment of the total payment of £8.57 million, which was due on 5 April 2023. A report by the Financial Times later suggested that millions had not yet been paid by the end of 2023 either. There were also indications in November that Recharge Industries itself could be threatened with insolvency.

The probable end of the project is a major setback for the UK government’s eMobility plans. Without the cell factory in Blyth, the only remaining option is the plans of the Chinese company Envision AESC to build a large battery factory next to the Nissan plant in Sunderland.


about „Britishvolt’s planned cell factory likely to face final curtain“

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