£3.8bn Blyth gigafactory construction hits milestone as it becomes key materials hub

Credit: Britishvolt

The creation of an electric-vehicle battery plant in Northumberland has reached a milestone as it becomes a key material hub this week.

The first train load of construction material (aggregate) had arrived at the Port of Blyth - kicking off the main ground works phase of Britishvolt’s £3.8 billion gigafactory development.  

The first 1,500 tonne load of aggregate, from a quarry at Shap in Cumbria, is part of a total delivery of 316,000 tonnes of stone.

The construction material is critical to create a stable surface of the 25-hectare building – equivalent to 50 football pitches in size.

The Port of Blyth will become a key materials hub for the project, and once a stockpile of aggregate has been gathered, a major operation will commence to transport the aggregate from the port to the site – a 1.3-mile journey.

This will mean one lorry load will enter the site every three minutes over the 24-week period.

Rob Bradley, construction director for ISG, said: “The Port of Blyth is an ideal materials hub, with the infrastructure and logistical expertise to run this programme-critical operation, and this solution importantly uses skilled operatives that were facing a challenging future as existing haulage contracts were winding down in the area.”

Craig Woodburn, Head of ESG, Britishvolt said: “Building the UK’s largest Gigafactory is an immense undertaking, but despite the scale, complexity and pace of this ground-breaking scheme, our project team interrogates every decision we take to maximise value for the regional economy here in Cambois, while also reducing the local environmental impact of developing a new site.

"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."

It will be Britishvolt's first full-scale Gigaplant. Credit: Britishvolt

In January 2022, the government confirmed its support for the creation of the car manufacturing site.

The gigafactory will construct around 200,000 batteries for electric cars in phase 1 and 2 of the project.