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The company that is building the UK’s first giga-battery factory was valued at over $ 1 billion in its latest round of funding, harnessing growing demand for investment in the energy transition.
Britishvolt has raised around $ 70 million in so-called Series B funding from investors such as mining company Glencore, Carbon Transition, a Euronext-listed fund that supports green businesses and technologies, and British engineer NG Bailey, said people familiar with the agreements.
This fundraising marks a new stage for the company, founded in 2019 by Orral Nadjari, a former investment banker. It comes just weeks after Battery Start-up began construction of its factory on the site of a disused coal-fired power station in Northumberland.
Kasra Pezeshki, Britishvolt’s chief investment officer, said the tour de table highlighted demand for investments backed by environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.
Supporters of the project say the Britishvolt plant in Blyth will help develop an electric car industry in the UK and also make it easier for the government to meet its carbon reduction targets.
With the UK banning sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles from 2030, the auto industry is under pressure to establish the infrastructure, including battery suppliers, to produce electric cars and protect jobs.
The weight of electric batteries means that they must be produced close to the place of manufacture of the rest of the vehicles.
Mining group Glencore announced last month that it had taken a stake in the company as part of a long-term deal to supply cobalt, now one of the world’s most sought-after raw materials as it is used in electric vehicle batteries.
Britishvolt is targeting a capacity of 30 gigawatt hours per year for its gigafactory, enough batteries to power 300,000 electric vehicles, with first production expected at the end of 2023.
More than two-thirds of the company’s 10 GWh Phase 1 capacity has been subscribed to by three anonymous customers, according to people familiar with the details.
To help fund the total project cost of $ 3.6 billion, Britishvolt is considering a listing on the London Stock Exchange or a merger with a special purpose acquisition vehicle in New York. He also wants to tap the government’s Auto Transformation Fund for financing. Barclays advises Britishvolt.
Earlier this year, rival battery start-up Northvolt raised $ 2.75 billion from investors, including Volkswagen and Goldman Sachs, for its gigafactory in northern Sweden.
This round of funding has highlighted the interest in gigafactories. He also attributed a value of $ 12 billion to Northvolt and will help the company increase its capacity from 40 GWh to 60 GWh per year.
In the UK, a number of companies are in talks with the government over building gigantic factories, but only Britishvolt, which has yet to unveil a battery cell sample, and Nissan have announced. publicly their plans.
Britishvolt said the Blyth plant would initially employ 1,000 people, then more than 3,000 when at full capacity, providing much needed jobs in one of the poorest parts of the UK.
The company is widely recognized for being awarded the best site in the country to develop a gigafactory – a 93-acre piece of land with access to a deep-water port and to Norwegian hydropower via a North Sea interconnection. He’s also working with Circulor, a supply chain monitoring group, to develop a carbon emissions benchmark for gigafactories.
Nadjari remains Britishvolt’s largest shareholder with a stake of around 30 percent. William Harrison, an American billionaire, owns 19%.