Electric car battery factory could be built in St Athan creating around 3,500 jobs

Image from Britishvolt & AMTE
A British company hopes to build an electric car battery factory in St Athan Credit: Britishvolt

Thousands of jobs could be created in Wales, as a company said it has chosen St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan as its preferred location to build a battery cell factory for electric cars.

Manufacturer Britishvolt said it has signed an agreement with the Welsh Government to work together on plans to develop a battery manufacturing plant and solar plant.

The manufacturing company said one of the reasons it chose the Bro Tathan industrial estate in St Athan is because of the availability of skilled workers. There is also an Aston Martin production facility in the area.

Orral Nadjari, CEO of Britishvolt, said it aims to deliver "world-class lithium ion batteries to support the unprecedented transition to electrification."

Britishvolt said the factory would employ around 3,500 local Welsh people and there could be up 15,000 more jobs for the wider supply chain – including material suppliers, contractors and local services.

Orral Nadjari, said the company will also encourage other businesses to invest in the region.

"Hiring local people, including those currently out of work, and developing strong relationships with nearby educational facilities will be a priority for us to ensure a stream of skilled staff."

Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021.

The company said by 2023, it plans for the first stage of the plant to be fully functional. It said it it could bring £1.2 billion of investment to south Wales.  

The plans are likely to be welcomed after the company Ineos said it is putting its plans to create 500 jobs and build its new 4x4 vehicle in Wales because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Britishvolt is also announcing plans to build a solar park alongside the factory, to support sustainable production of batteries.

Shadow Minister for Economy, Business, and Infrastructure Russell George MS has welcomed news that St Athan is the preferred site for the factory.Mr George said: "We know that the economy is taking a hit because of Coronavirus, and is likely to for some time."There is therefore the need for some cautious boldness, some entrepreneurial optimism to get the Welsh economy going."

The company is currently in discussions with the Welsh Government about the plans.