Battery maker Britishvolt has bought Australian company | Business news

Britishvolt, the company behind a planned battery factory to power electric cars, has been bought out of administration by Australian company Recharge Industries.

The British company joined the administration in January after months of funding problems that resulted in the loss of more than 200 jobs.

Recharge Industries had selected as the preferred bidder by EY administrators earlier this month.

Its chief executive David Collard said the Britishvolt brand would remain, as would the ambition to complete Britishvolt’s electric vehicle battery factory in Blyth, Northumberland.

However, the business will focus on making batteries for energy storage before moving on to make batteries for high-performance sports cars.

“I spent a lot of time with Northumberland County Council. They really want a gigafactory and the best thing for their people,” Mr Collard told the BBC.

Future of large-scale battery plant uncertain after £100m Govt funding did not occur.

Private funding of billions for the project was dependent on the payment of state funds.

Government funding would be welcomed by the new owners, but Mr Collard said he wanted broad political support for the plant.

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“The Government is ready to get behind the right company with the right investment because we believe a gigafactory here in Blyth would be the right way to build on the skills that local people have, and the advantage it has already demonstrated this city when it comes to renewables and the future of energy,” he said.

“Anyone will get free money but at the end of the day what we want is bipartisan support and we have that in Australia and the US.”

Work is due to start in six to 12 months, Mr Collard estimated. He hoped that 8,000 jobs would be created by the factory and related supply chain employment.

Britishvolt had intended to make power cells for 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs a year at the plant planned on the site of the former coal-fired Blyth power station and eventually employ 3,000 people.

The amount for which the business was purchased was not disclosed.

Staff retained during the administration process – the number is understood to be 26 – will be retained by the new owner, administrators EY said.

“The sale of the business will help support the development of the technology and infrastructure needed for the UK’s energy transition,” it said.

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