The first train load of aggregate arrived at the Port of Blyth in Northumberland this week to kick start the main groundworks of Britishvolt’s £3.8bn Gigafactory, one of Europe’s largest construction projects.
Last month, the battery technology company announced it would develop large format, 46900, high-performance lithium-ion advanced cells for high performance EVs. The Northumberland project will have a total capacity of over 38 Gigawatt Hours by the end of the decade and will produce enough cells far in excess of 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs per year.
The project’s construction work began this week as the first 1,500 tonne load of aggregate arrived at the site. It is part of a total consignment of 316,000 tonnes of stone critical for the formation of a stable surface to install over 15,000 foundational piles around the perimeter and within the footprint of the 25-hectare building – equivalent to 50 football pitches in size – Britishvolt said in a statement.
The company said two train deliveries would be made each day to the port for the next 24-weeks to fulfil one of the largest single orders that Breedon Group would be making this year for main contractor ISG.
“The Port of Blyth is an ideal materials hub, with the infrastructure and logistical expertise to run this programme-critical operation,” said Rob Bradley, construction director for ISG.
Speaking on the occasion, Craig Woodburn, Head of ESG, Britishvolt said despite the scale, complexity and pace of this immense undertaking, the project team took decisions that extract maximum value for the regional economy in Cambois and reduce the development’s local environmental impact.
“By selecting primarily rail movements over road transport we reduce local impact and reduce overall carbon emissions associated with getting the material to our site,” Woodburn said.