The company behind plans to create a £1.6billion gigaplant in Northumberland has secured investment that heralds plans to power marine and automotive vehicles.
Britishvolt is working on plans for the former Blyth power station coal yards, which are expected to create 3,000 direct jobs and another 5,000 through its supply chain once it opens in 2024.
The company – which has secured ‘tens of millions’ of government funding – has already signed memorandums of understanding with Lotus Cars and Aston Martin which will see it develop electric vehicles powered by Britishvolt cells.
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Now Britishvolt is set to explore battery power solutions for the maritime industry after securing undisclosed investment from Monegasque group Scorpio, which has been investing in and operating maritime transport for nearly 100 years.
Scorpio, which has also invested in the next generation of wind turbine installation vessels, is firmly focused on the need to decarbonise the maritime industry. The two companies say the agreements mark a significant step in the right direction, with the maritime sector playing its part in the search for new fuels and propulsion systems in the “wave to zero”.
Orral Nadjari, Founder and CEO of Britishvolt, added: “Britishvolt will be a leader in the most important race facing humanity and our planet – the race to net zero carbon. Or in this case ‘zero wave’.
“We will be a positive force not only for our customers by helping them achieve their decarbonization goals, but also for the communities in which we and our suppliers operate, guaranteeing them a better future. Now is the time to switch from fossil fuels to clean, renewable, low-carbon electricity. The world deserves a future of clean air for all. This is our mission at Britishvolt.
Through this partnership, Britishvolt and Scorpio will seek to contribute to the rapid pace of battery innovation in the maritime space, recognizing the need for the shipping industry to embrace battery power.
Kasra Pezeshki, Britishvolt’s Chief Investment Officer, added: “Scorpio’s investment is a clear endorsement of Britishvolt’s vision for 2050 that not only electric vehicles adopt our sustainable low carbon battery cell capability. , but also shipping and aviation.
“These more polluting and heavier modes of transport must seek the best solutions to reduce emissions. Britishvolt batteries can play a vital role in this.
Filippo Lauro, Scorpio Group Vice President, said: “Scorpio is delighted to have the opportunity to invest in the next phase of exciting growth for Britishvolt. The battery pioneer’s leading position and access to the UK’s cutting-edge scientific community ensures that we will be able to work together to further accelerate green propulsion and potentially energy storage solutions for the maritime sector. .
David Morant, Managing Director of Scorpio UK, said: “The UK is a maritime nation and also a world leader in batteries and maritime innovation. This partnership will further strengthen that leadership. The Scorpio Group is looking forward to building on its decades of maritime innovation with Britishvolt. »
The partnership with Lotus Cars will see Britishvolt and the Norfolk-based automaker develop an electric sports car powered by Britishvolt cells and featuring advanced electric drive technologies developed by Lotus. Britishvolt’s collaboration with Aston Martin, the ultra-luxury carmaker, further supports its plans to launch its first battery electric vehicle in 2025.
Britishvolt has also worked to strike deals with mineral suppliers, establishing sustainable supply chains for key battery components.
In March he unveiled a memorandum of understanding with VKTR, which will see the companies work together on developing a facility in Indonesia for the nickel compound that can supply battery manufacturers as well as the Blyth plant. At the same time, it also entered into a strategic partnership with Glencore for the supply of responsibly sourced cobalt, another vital raw material for batteries, a deal which saw the mining giant take a stake in the company.