UK gigafactory
The proposed site in St. Athan, Image credit: Wales.gov

UK battery manufacturer Britishvolt has announced what it calls the first “gigafactory” on UK soil, with the planned £1.2 billion, 30GWh-plus facility to be based in the Bro Tathan industrial district of St. Athan, South Wales.

The firm is also announcing plans to build a solar park alongside the factory, to support the sustainable production of batteries at near-zero carbon emission levels.

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The plant, planned to have one of the top three largest operational footprints in Europe, will need 80-plus hectares of land, and the energy-intensive nature of producing lithium ion cells means nearby renewable sources are of importance.

Lars Carlstrom, CEO at Britishvolt said: “We aim to deliver a scalable, onshore production and diverse portfolio of world-class lithium ion batteries, to support the unprecedented transition to electrification – primarily servicing the automotive and energy storage markets. 

“After six months of careful analysis, Bro Tathan is the preferred choice due to a number of different factors. The Welsh Government has welcomed us with open arms… and the region meets crucial criteria including import/export accessibility, availability of labour and skilled staff, along with convenient geographical proximity to customers and local industrial companies.”

Lars noted: “Our state of the art and high-efficiency gigaplant will employ at least 3,500 local Welsh people. These will be across a wide range of disciplines and will create a local ecosystem of 10,000 to 15,000 further jobs for the wider supply chain – including material suppliers, contractors and local services. 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% of the initial £1.2 billion of investment will be injected directly into the chosen community,”

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