Battery tech developer Britishvolt selects site for first UK gigafactory

by John Shepherd
The Britishvolt site has the potential to draw on hydro-electric power via the North Sea Link. Images: Britishvolt/North Sea Link
UK battery tech developer Britishvolt today named Blyth, in northeast England, as the site of its first electric vehicle battery gigafactory, with a total investment cost of £2.6bn.

The company has acquired exclusive rights to the 95-hectare, former Blythe Power Station site, in Northumberland.

Construction is set to start next summer and the production of lithium-ion batteries is scheduled to be under way by the end of 2023.

The plant will use renewable energy and have the potential to use hydro-electric power, generated around 450 miles away in Kvilldal, Norway. 

Electricity generated in Norway would be despatched to Blythe via subsea high voltage cables of the North Sea Link – which will be the longest subsea interconnector in the world when it starts operations in 2021.


Britishvolt said the gigafactory development will be the largest industrial investment in the region since the arrival of car giant Nissan in 1984 and represented "one of the largest-ever industrial investments in the UK”.

"By the final phase of the project in 2027, it will be employing up to 3,000 highly-skilled people, producing over 300,000 lithium-ion batteries for the UK automotive industry,” the company said.

CEO Orral Nadjari said: "This is a tremendous moment both for Britishvolt and UK industry. Now we can really start the hard work and begin producing lithium-ion batteries for future electrified vehicles in just three years. It is crucial for the UK automotive industry and for the entire economy that we are able to power the future. The sooner we start, the better.”

Britishvolt said last month that its global headquarters will be on the Mira Technology Park campus near Coventry, in the English Midlands.

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