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Glencore invests in Britishvolt’s £4bn Northumberland UK gigafactory

Glencore invests in Britishvolt’s £4bn Northumberland UK gigafactory

Britishvolt, a Northumberland-based manufacturer of low-carbon batteries, has reportedly received a sizable financial boost after one of the world's largest mining firms, Glencore, agreed to support its business.

For the uninitiated, Britishvolt is a tech startup founded in 2019 that is currently constructing a massive battery plant in Northumberland to support production of electric vehicles in the UK.

According to Glencore, it has invested an undisclosed amount in Britishvolt's £4 billion gigafactory project. Along with that, the mining giant would also be supplying the firm with cobalt to run its battery plant.

Cobalt is a mineral that is mainly available in regions like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia. It is an essential component of batteries used in EVs and mobile phones.

Glencore, headquartered in Switzerland, is a major producer of cobalt. Interestingly, the cobalt that the mining giant produces is a byproduct of its copper mining operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and nickel mining operations in Australia and Canada.

The surge in demand for electric cars has caused the prices of battery metals such as copper, nickel, and cobalt to skyrocket, benefiting companies such as Glencore, which controls a large portion of the world's supply.

Orral Nadjari, Chief Executive Officer of Britishvolt, stated that this is a significant step forward for Britishvolt as the firm seeks to expedite the transition to a low-carbon future. Britishvolt is securing supplies and de-risking the project through collaborating with Glencore.

The UK's first so-called battery gigafactory is under construction in Northumberland at the site of a now-demolished coal power facility. According to credible reports, the battery facility could generate up to 3,000 jobs.

Furthermore, the factory would also generate enough battery cells to provide about 300,000 electric car battery packs per year, primarily for the UK automotive sector.

Britishvolt has previously announced intentions to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles in the Vale of Glamorgan, only for timescale disagreements with local authorities to derail the project.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.