Blyth hope as Australia’s Recharge buys Britishvolt

Australia’s Recharge Industries announced it bought Britishvolt, the collapsed startup which had struggled to fund a major electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in Blyth, Northumberland.

Recharge Industries, privately owned by New York-based investment fund Scale Facilitation, was selected earlier this month as the preferred bidder for Britishvolt.

Britishvolt had been planning a £3.8 billion gigafactory project at Blyth which could have created up to 3,000 jobs.

“Under plans presented by Recharge Industries, the Britishvolt project will make the UK’s first Gigafactory a reality, creating a strategic economic and security asset which will play a critical role in the UK’s industrial and net zero strategies,” said Scale Facilitation.

“The recharged Britishvolt will provide thousands of green, skilled and local jobs that will drive local and national benefits.”

Scale Facilitation CEO David Collard said: “We are thrilled to have been successful in our bid for ownership of Britishvolt; our plans are the right ones for the local community and the UK economy.

“Our proposal combined our financial, commercial, technology and manufacturing capabilities, with a highly credible plan to put boots and equipment on the ground quickly.

“Our technology – including an exclusive license for the intellectual property and battery technology – has been developed and validated over the last decade through C4V in the US and will be the backbone of both gigafactories in Geelong and Cambois.

“Backed by our global supply chain, strategic delivery partners and a number of significant customer agreements in place, we’re confident of making the Cambois Gigafactory a success and growing it into an advanced green energy project. We can’t wait to get started and want to start as soon as possible.

“The North East of England has a real depth of history and talent in manufacturing and engineering. I recently spent time in the area to get to know the people and the site, and I was struck by the similarities to our Recharge Industries site in Geelong, Australia.

“I was really taken by the passion and pride that the people have for the region and their determination to get behind a project that can drive lasting change. We have the right plan in place, to match and support the region’s energy and ambition to become a major player in the international battery market.

“We would like to thank all of our global advisors who worked tirelessly with us to deliver this transaction.

“From Australia, KordaMentha and 333 Capital who led the negotiation as the Lead Financial and Restructuring Advisor; the London team from Sidley Austin LLP as Legal Counsel and PricewaterhouseCoopers as our Global Tax Advisors.”