Edinburgh-based investment group Abrdn and its 60%-owned property and logistics investment fund Tritax announced they will provide up to £2 billion of private funding for the giant Britishvolt electric-vehicle (EV) battery project at Blyth in the northeast of England.
The Blyth project is set to create 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and another 5,000 indirect jobs in the wider supply chain.
The Britishvolt plant will be able to produce enough battery cells to power 300,000 new zero-emission cars a year.
Britishvolt has received an “in principle” offer of UK Government funding though the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) — delivered by the Advanced Propulsion Centre — for its planned Blyth gigafactory.
The “in principle” offer of funding has enabled a long-term partnership with Trixtax and Abrdn that will deliver between £1.7 billion and £2 billion in private funding.
“At the same time BV announce that Tritax and Abrdn are becoming its partner to fund the build of the project, shell and core, as well as to develop the associated supplier park,” said Britishvolt.
“Tritax is the leading investor in UK and European logistics real estate and is joining BV in partnership with Abrdn’s global real assets and investment capabilities.
“The ATF is a funding programme with the aim of creating a sustainable, zero emission automotive supply chain in the UK.”
Abrdn manages and administers £532 billion of assets. Tritax has £6 billion of assets under management.
Britishvolt executive chairman Peter Rolton said: “This announcement is a major step in putting the UK at the forefront of the global energy transition, unlocking huge private sector investment that will develop the technology and skills required for Britain to play its part in the next industrial revolution.
“The news is the first step in creating a commercialised battery ecosystem, that perfectly aligns with the existing R&D ecosystem.
“Britishvolt will be the anchor for attracting further sections of the supply chain, be it refining or recycling, to co-locate on the Britishvolt site.
“This not only shortens supply chains but also allows for partners to access the abundance of renewable energy on site to truly power low carbon, sustainable battery production.
“It will also allow us to catapult our unique tailormade business proposition on a global scale, with sites already selected for development in other countries.
“I’m especially proud that this is such a major boost for Northumberland – the county of my birth – bringing around 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and another 5,000+ indirect wider supply chain roles into the region.
“This is a truly historic day and marks the start of a truly exciting move towards a low carbon future. One with Britishvolt batteries at the very centre of that strategy.”
Tritax Group CEO James Dunlop said: “Tritax and Abrdn are delighted to have been chosen to partner with Britishvolt to fund and deliver this at Blyth.
“The £3.8bn scheme will create a sustainable and green powered ecosystem for UK battery and EV manufacturing.
“Blyth is mission critical infrastructure of national importance.
“The development will help realise the UK Government’s commitment to deliver British made batteries for the automotive sector in a world leading energy cluster in the Northeast.
“We have a strong track record of identifying operators and projects at the epicentre of structural change and as such are proud to be working alongside Britishvolt, the UK Government and a world class professional team to unlock a greener future for UK plc.”