Britishvolt, investor in lithium-ion battery cell technologies and associated R&D, has entered into a long-term strategic partnership for the supply of responsibly sourced cobalt with the world’s largest industrial producer and one of the largest recyclers, Glencore.
The news represents a major milestone for Britishvolt’s quest to assist vehicle OEMs on their roadmap to electrification. By securing one of the key battery ingredients from the Glencore cobalt brands, Britishvolt is significantly derisking its operation by obtaining long-term security of supply across its business.
Orral Nadjari, Britishvolt CEO/Founder, said: “This is a huge step in the right direction for Britishvolt as we look to accelerate the transition to a low carbon society. By partnering with Glencore, we are locking in supply and derisking the project.
“At the very heart of our business are our core ESG Principles and Commitments. Cobalt is a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries and knowing that we are being supplied with responsibly produced cobalt is a signal to the market that we are living by our values. This strategic partnership aligns perfectly with our ESG Principles, including ‘applying best practice wherever possible’ as well as ‘assessing labour, human rights and ethical procurement performance of our suppliers’.
We believe that to be a true pioneer in the battery cell manufacturing industry, Britishvolt must lead by example and ensure that its supply chains are as ethical, low carbon and sustainable as is possible.”
David Brocas, Head Cobalt Trader, Glencore, said: ”We are delighted to be partnering with Britishvolt, a pioneer in UK electric vehicle battery technology and production. The UK has a unique legacy of automotive innovation and Britishvolt’s ambition to power the next generation of mobility will add to this rich history.
“Our commitment to support our partners in meeting their requirements for essential battery ingredients is key to underpinning long-term supply agreements. As the mobility and energy transition accelerates, so does future demand for battery metals such as cobalt, copper and nickel. Glencore is already a leading producer and supplier of these metals, helping to underpin our ambition of achieving net zero total emissions by 2050.”
Investors are increasingly interested in raw material sourcing strategies of battery cell manufacturers. With the main focus now on ESG-linked investments, this deal underscores to the market that Britishvolt is delivering on its objectives.
The development is a major boon for Northumberland, and indeed the country, and will bring around 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and another 5,000+ in the associated supply chains.
Britishvolt is on target to manufacture some of the world’s most sustainable, low carbon battery cells on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard located in Cambois, Northumberland.
The project will be built in three phases each of 10GWh to a total capacity of 30GWh by end-2027 onwards. This allows the business to keep on top of any technological advancements.
Once at full capacity, the Gigaplant will have a production capability equating to approximately enough cells for around 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs per year, intended primarily for the automotive industry.
It will be the first large full cycle Gigaplant in the UK.