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Green light for £450m Envision AESC investment
Envision AESC has secured formal planning permission for the UK’s first at-scale battery manufacturing plant at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).
The 9GWh-capacity gigafactory, with state-of-the-art battery technology, will form part of a £1bn partnership with Nissan UK to create an electric vehicle hub supporting next generation EV production and accelerating the transition to net zero carbon mobility.
The planning decision secures Envision AESC investment of £450m as part of the transformational project, creating 750 green jobs and safeguarding 300 jobs from its existing Sunderland plant. Construction of the new building on IAMP – which spans land in South Tyneside and Sunderland – is due to begin in 2022 to support battery production in 2024, which will pave the way for potential future investment of £1.8bn on the site to generate 35GWh capacity and 4,500 new high value green jobs by 2030.
The company’s existing Sunderland plant has been supplying batteries to Nissan for the LEAF electric vehicle for the last nine years. The new scaled up gigafactory will produce batteries to power more than 100,000 EVs annually, using new Gen5 battery cells with a third more energy density to improve range, efficiency and performance, including 100 per cent safety record/zero critical incidents.
This investment will not only power Nissan’s next generation EVs, but also support the growing localisation of vehicle parts and components production, advancing technology and making batteries and EVs cheaper and more accessible to a growing number of customers.
Envision AESC’s new gigafactory will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and supported by an £80m microgrid being developed by Sunderland City Council. The plant will also deploy integrated AIoT smart technology to monitor and optimise energy consumption, predict demand and maintenance requirements and utilise battery storage facilities to manage energy supply intermittency.
Chris Caygill, managing director, Envision AESC UK, said: ‘‘We are extremely pleased with today’s decision, which means we can get on with the important job of building the plant and recruitment to fully resource the project team. We are immensely proud of the work we have done with our strategic partners Nissan UK and Sunderland City Council so far, which has laid the foundations for affordable EVs and sustainable growth in the region for the next generations.
“As a growing global business, we will continue to push the boundaries of battery technology, which has made us a world leading battery supplier, with a safety record that boasts no critical incidents during the last 10 years.”
Alan Johnson, vice president for manufacturing of Nissan Sunderland, added: “We welcome the news that planning permission has been approved for Envision AESC’S new gigafactory. This is a fundamental part of our EV36Zero project, bringing together electric vehicle production, battery manufacturing and renewables, and we’re all excited to see the progress being made.”