The UK’s first battery gigaplant has moved a step closer after the manufacturer Britishvolt and the Welsh government signed a landmark memorandum of understanding.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) will help the two parties develop a commercially viable 30 GWh battery manufacturing plant, and supplementary 200MW solar plant, at the former RAF base at Bro Tathan, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales.

The battery plant will produce lithium ion cylindrical and pouch cells primarily servicing the automotive market, subject to UK Government funding through the Automotive Transformation Fund.

The plant, should it go ahead, will support the country’s ‘Road to Zero’ emissions targets, and the transition to electrification.

The site was narrowed down from over 40 locations, due to a number of factors including: import/export accessibility, availability of labour and skilled staff, and convenient geographical proximity to customers and local industrial companies.

It is anticipated that the initial £1.2bn of investment from the company could eventually lead towards up to 3,500 jobs. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021.

‘We are immensely proud to announce plans to work exclusively with the Welsh Government to develop the UK’s landmark battery gigaplant,’ said Orral Nadjari, CEO and founder at Britishvolt.

‘Wales has welcomed us with open arms and exceptional due diligence and we believe the country has a vast untapped potential. Hiring local people, including those currently out of work, and developing strong relationships with nearby educational facilities will be a priority for us to ensure a stream of skilled staff.

‘Britishvolt will also encourage other businesses to invest in the region with the aim of creating a ‘hub’ of battery electrification – building out our very own infrastructure and supply chain ecosystem, which will create thousands more jobs.’

Mr Nadjari continued: ‘The construction of the solar farm will not only ensure our gigaplant has a near carbon neutral electricity input – complementing our goal of becoming one of the greenest battery producers worldwide – but also provide cleaner energy to the local area.’

Image: jax10289 /