ISG lands Blyth battery gigaplant

The plant is designed by Italy’s Pininfarina

Britishvolt, a start-up company, plans to invest £2.6bn in the site, the UK’s first battery gigaplant.

It is described as the largest industrial investment in the northeast since Nissan’s arrival in 1984 and one of the largest-ever industrial investments in the UK.

ISG is expected to start construction in summer 2021, for production of lithium-ion batteries for the automotive and renewable energy industries to start by the end of 2023. Construction of further phases will continue until the end of 2027.

The plant is being designed by Italy’s Pininfarina. It will be built on a 95-hectare site that was formerly the site of Blyth Power Station. It will exclusively use renewable energy, including the potential to use hydro-electric power generated in Norway and transmitted 447 miles under the North Sea via the world’s longest inter-connector from the North Sea Link project.

Britishvolt chief executive Orral Nadjari said: “We’re delighted to have engaged ISG as the construction partner for our Blyth gigaplant. Its long expertise of delivering global projects will be crucial to meeting our exacting standards and tight timeframe.

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“Especially key is that ISG’s frontline team delivered Jaguar Land Rover’s production facility in Nitra, Slovakia, giving Britishvolt hugely relevant and recent experience in delivering large-scale projects such as ours.

“Our gigaplant project is now on track in every key area: construction, product development, funding and a high-level of customer engagement for our world-class lithium-ion batteries. We will be production ready at the end of 2023. It’s essential that we are ready to power the future as quickly as possible.”

ISG chief executive Paul Cossell said: “This landmark project to build the UK’s first gigaplant is one of the most visible signs that we are confidently stepping up to meet the challenge of new zero emissions by 2050 and closely aligned with the government’s key commitment to cease petrol and diesel car manufacturing by 2030.”

The value of ISG’s contract was not disclosed.

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