Britishvolt chief exits North East “gigafactory” amid reported funding issues

Northumberland’s new “gigafactory” will employ 3,000 people. It is the first such facility in the UK.

After the departure of its chief executive officer and co-founder, questions have been raised about the funding of Britishvolt’s ‘gigafactory’ in the northeast region of England.

Over the weekend, Orral Nadjari was confirmed by the company as being replaced by Graham Hoare.

Huge UK electric car battery factory Britishvolt site grinds almost to a halt to manage costs

The company is currently in a critical time and his departure marks a turning point for them. They plan to build a huge car battery factory in Cambois (near Blyth) in Northumberland.

The Times cited leaked memos from within the company to claim that Britishvolt was forced to reduce its value to attract more cash to finance the project.

Reports also indicated that construction of the plant which would have directly employed 3,000 people was on hold and that the business’ finances were placed on “life support”.

The newspaper reported that production from the factory, which was to become the UK’s first battery factory for electric vehicles, has been delayed at least one year until 2024.

According to The Times, the group had been struggling to secure additional £200mln in investment before the planned stock market flotation. The valuation of this has reportedly fallen to £1.5bn instead of £2bn.

The Wall Street Journal, which is a sister publication to the Times, suggested that funding could be provided by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. This renewable energy fund has supported five waste or biomass incinerator plants in the UK.

The business is owned by Nadjari, the former CEO. Glencore, a miner and commodity trader, and abrdn are its main financial backers. This project was also the recipient of £100mln in taxpayer support

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