Envision AESC Welcomes Planning Permission for UK-First 'At Scale' Gigafactory to Support Electric Vehicle Production in North East
Envision AESC - the world-leading battery division of global green tech company Envision Group - has today welcomed 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.
Today's 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 exceptional 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 its greenest to date, powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and supported by a £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.
Envision AESC UK Managing Director Chris Caygill 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.'
Nissan Sunderland Plant Vice President, Manufacturing, Alan Johnson said: "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."
Envision AESC runs the world's best battery plants in terms of automation, productivity and quality. This planning approval for our transformational project will accelerate the transition to net zero carbon neutrality by providing state of the art batteries for 100,000 more electric vehicles a year and helping make EVs more affordable.
It follows a public consultation exercise with local stakeholders and residents which received 80 per cent positive support. It and will be the largest facility on IAMP and represents a significant step forward for the 150-hectare site, which was created by South Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council in 2014 to attract business investment to the region.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "We are delighted to see this hugely ambitious development move forward. IAMP is a hugely significant development, and its ability to attract and then support businesses in advanced manufacturing is second to none, in terms of the assets of the site itself and the talent pool we have to drive it. We look forward to seeing Envision AESC move forward with this game-changing Gigafactory on a site that we are proud to be bringing forward in partnership with South Tyneside Council."
Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader at South Tyneside Council, said: "This is a huge boost for the local economy, and indeed for UK Plc, part of a wider £1bn investment that will secure and create hundreds - thousands - of jobs.
"This is what we hoped IAMP would deliver when we embarked on this partnership with Sunderland City Council, and so, seeing Envision AESC's plans advance is vindication of our commitment to this important job-creating site."
IAMP has been led in partnership between Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council, working in partnership with HBD, and has been backed with £42m from the UK Government through the Local Growth Fund through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) towards infrastructure including new roads, bridges and environmental enhancements to support the development. The Local Growth Fund resource is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport as part of the North East Growth Deal.