Britishvolt going into administration has been dubbed “a real shame” by the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), in particular given the need for an effective battery energy storage supply chain in the UK.
The battery company was looking to build the UK’s first lithium-ion Gigafactory in the Port of Blyth in Northumberland. There were 300 people employed by the company to deliver the £3.8 billion battery factory.
The closure follows failed efforts to find additional investors over recent months, leading Britishvolt to announce it was going into administration yesterday (17 January). EY has been appointed as the accountancy firm in charge of managing the company’s assets.
“The news that Britishvolt has filed for administration is a real shame – this highlights the need for an effective UK industrial strategy and supply chain support (similar to the US’s Inflation Reduction Act) to capture the huge opportunities of Net Zero. Chris Skidmore’s Net Zero Review report made clear the opportunities and imperative of doing so just last week,” Frank Gordon, director of policy at the REA said.
“Our thoughts are with the staff and affected families in the result of any redundancies and we hope that another player may take up this project as the location is widely seen as ideal for the production of batteries.
“The UK needs at least three such gigafactories and we must now urgently see progress towards this in order to get to Net Zero.”
Less than 24 hours after the news that Britishvolt was closing was announced, Andrew Forrest – the founder of the Australian iron ore giant Fortescue – unveiled plans for an advanced battery plant in Oxfordshire, according to Sky News. The plant would create 300 jobs.
Back in 2020, the Government also announced funding to support Scottish battery manufacturing alongside a host of other battery projects. The £49 million was designed to “pave the way” for a UK Gigafactory.