Battery production company Britishvolt has entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with the manufacturer ENTEK. The MoU calls for a roadmap to examine the use of ENTEK’s separators in Britishvolt’s batteries.
It also looks into potential investment in facilities for ENTEK’s ceramic-coated lithium battery separator materials at both ENTEK’s current battery separator plant in Killingworth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and a co-located facility within Britishvolt’s Blyth campus in the UK.
According to the partners, the collaboration will take advantage of ENTEK’s “robust technology and protected intellectual property related to coated lithium separator composites”. The MoU is also to serve as the “foundation for a long-term separator supply agreement that will allow ENTEK to invest in the UK’s first lithium battery separator plant”.
Larry Keith, ENTEK CEO, commented:
“We are delighted to have been selected as Britishvolt’s preferred lithium-ion battery separator partner and eager to align our objectives and investments with their transformational plans to build a 30+ gigawatt hour factory in the UK.”
Britishvolt had previously been due to build its battery factory for electric vehicles in Wales, with the company signing an MoU with the Welsh government. Britishvolt maintained at the time that this was preliminary.
However, as 2020 drew to a close, Britishvolt announced its 3,000-job factory would now be built in Blyth, Northumberland, rather than Wales. The Blyth location, which Britishvolt bought in April this year, is near Nissan and has connections to renewable energy.
Orral Nadjar, CEO at Britishvolt, said:
“Blyth meets all of our exacting requirements and could be tailor-made. It is on the doorstep of major transport links, easily accessible renewable energy and the opportunity for a co-located supply chain, meets our target to make our gigaplant the world’s cleanest and greenest battery facility.”
It is also on Nissan’s doorstep, a fact Britishvolt acknowledged when stating that “£2.6bn total investment is one of the UK’s largest-ever industrial investments and the largest in the North East of England since the arrival of Nissan in 1984.” There are no other links known, yet. However, when toying with the idea of building in Wales, British Volt had hoped to tap into skilled workers from the vicinity of Aston Martin.
Britishvolt wants the plant to be fully operational by mid-2023. By the final phase of the project in 2027, Britishvolt plans to employ up to 3,000 skilled staff, producing over 300,000 lithium-ion batteries for the UK automotive industry. It hopes to provide up to 5,000 further jobs in the wider supply chain.
The Britishvolt “gigaplant” will be built on a 95-hectare site, formerly the location of the Blyth Power Station. It will 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. The cable will come out at Blyth.