Britishvolt: Australian Startup Selected as Preferred Bidder to Revive Gigafactory Plan
National media across the UK are reporting that Recharge has signed a deal to purchase Britishvolts’ business and assets. EY, who has managed Britishvolts’ administrative processes, has publicly said the acquisition is expected to close within seven days.
Little information was disclosed about the size of the bid, but it was described as aggressive. Beyond the high-priced offer, Recharge also benefits from existing partnerships for sourcing raw materials and existing battery technology arrangements.
Besides the recharge, the Financial Times reports that the British Vault administrator has received at least three major bids.
Recharge Industries is similar to Britishvolt in that it is widely perceived as a startup or scale-up. A major project of its own has not yet been completed, but a battery factory is currently under construction in Victoria, Australia. If the deal goes ahead, both projects should be completed on a similar timescale.
Before coming into power last month, Britishvolt was looking to develop a 30GWh gigafactory on 93 hectares in the North East of England. The 3.8 billion gigafactory was expected to start producing batteries next year and expand to a full production capacity of 300,000 battery packs annually by 2028. Planning permits were obtained in 2021 and early work has commenced on site.
It is understood that the acquisition agreement will reinstate these plans. Recharge may adjust them slightly, and we can expect more information on the proposed changes in the near future.
The Britishvolt factory set up for Blyth will manufacture battery packs for electric vehicles (EVs), while Recharge Industries’ work in Australia will focus more on applications in areas such as power, utilities and defense. It also covers large battery arrays.
Other UK gigafactories in the pipeline include a flagship project in Coventry and a 9GWh facility in Sunderland, which Nissan operates in partnership with Chinese battery maker Envision.
The UK government has already been called on several occasions to come up with a stronger plan to build up inventories at Gigafactories around the world over the decade. This is to avoid being dependent on imports and missing opportunities for green job creation and international battery trade.
Shortly after the British Bolt came to power, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Commission launched a new investigation into EV battery manufacturing in the UK. The Commission is accepting written evidence until Tuesday, February 14, after which it will arrange a hearing. The company said it was concerned that the UK would become largely dependent on imported batteries as sales of new petrol and diesel vans and cars end in 2030, and the potential for expanding the country’s EV battery industry has increased. are missing significant socio-economic benefits. .
Chris Skidmore MP last month published findings from the Net-Zero Review on how the UK government can help meet its 2050 climate change targets in ways that boost growth, boost business, and even raise the bar. The review makes more than 120 recommendations, arguing that the government is still nowhere near realizing the full opportunity for transition.
Published February 6, 2023
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