Blyth gigaplant assurances as Britishvolt CEO departs

Battery technology pioneer Britishvolt, planning to create thousands of jobs by building the UK’s first battery gigaplant in Blyth, Northumberland, has announced “a transition within its management team, aligned to the company’s growth plans and 2050 vision.”

Britishvolt founder and CEO Orral Nadjari is to step down, with Graham Hoare appointed as acting CEO.

Hoare is currently Britishvolt’s Deputy CEO/President Global Operations — and chair of the UK Automotive Council.

“Following confirmation of UK Government support from its Advanced Propulsion Centre Automotive Transformation Fund, these announcements position the company for continued excellence as it rapidly moves towards full operational execution,” said Britishvolt.

“In line with plans, its first cell samples will be sent to customers this summer; testing indicates these will surpass quality and performance expectations.”

Nadjari said: “I am extremely proud of what Britishvolt has achieved since the business was founded in 2019, exceeding all expectations and bringing my vision to life.

“My vision was only possible because of all of the foresight of UK Government in creating a world-class battery cell ecosystem.

“In less than three years, we have created an enduring and sustainable organisation and remain focused to hit our mid-decade strategy of Phase One production at our UK Gigaplant.

“Although it was a difficult decision for me to step away from the operational management of the company, now is the right time for me to pass the reins, after laying the foundations, to our hugely talented, world-leading team, who will drive the business forwards as it enters the execution phase.

“They have my complete trust to take Britishvolt to the next level.”

Britishvolt executive chairman Peter Rolton said: “On behalf of the Britishvolt board of directors, I want to thank Orral for his contribution to the company as our founder and CEO.

“His vision and leadership have been instrumental in ensuring that Britishvolt has reached the point today where we can look with great confidence to a highly successful future.”

Hoare said: “I express my thanks to Orral for his leadership during the embryonic stages of this amazing company.

“Orral provided powerful insights, and a tenacious approach, that ensured the early ideas for the company were brought to fruition.

“I thank him for his huge commitment, energy and contributions. I’m honoured to take the company forward, in the next chapter of our growth and industrialisation.”