Battery manufacturer Recharge Industries has made a winning bid to acquire recently-collapsed UK battery venture Britishvolt.
Britishvolt planned to build a $4.6 billion (£3.8 billion) “gigafactory” in Blyth, Northumberland. The factory will manufacture batteries for electric vehicles.
Purchaser Recharge Industries, owned by New-York-based investment firm Scale Facilitation, has said that it will continue construction. The company has already started developing a battery factory in Victoria, Australia.
Britishvolt’s administrator, EY, has said that the sale is likely to occur in the next 7 days. Recharge Industries beat three other offers to acquire the company.
Britishvolt had a number of financial complications before its recent collapse.
Britishvolt had promised to create 3000 new skilled jobs for the Northeast area following the factory’s construction. Almost all of the 232 staff members lost their jobs last month.
The manufacture of batteries is a concern for UK car manufacturing. The UK currently has one battery plant near to the Nissan factory in the northeast of England, compared to 35 planned or under construction in the EU.
Recharge Industries plans to build lithium-ion batteries free from materials from both China and Russia, reducing potential supply-chain issues.
Britishvolt was promised $120m (£100m) of public funding by the UK government following the company’s inception. But in October an advance of £30m was refused by the government as the company had failed to meet key construction milestones. The BBC reported that the government remains confident that the factory will end up being built, despite financial difficulties.
Recharge Industries founder, David Collard said it “can’t wait to get started making a reality of our plans to build the UK’s first gigafactory”.