Sep 15, 2021

Britishvolt partners with Circulor for CO2 tracking

Energy
batteries
Gigaplant
CO2tracking
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Britishvolt believes the tie up with Circulor on CO2 tracking will lead to an "industry wide benchmark platform"

Britishvolt has entered into a strategic partnership with Circulor for its CO2 footprint tracking covering the building of its Gigaplant and wider supply chain monitoring.

The process will lead to an "industry wide benchmark platform" that paves the way for others to track its roadmap to net zero, the company claims.

Britishvolt has instructed Circulor to trace building material supply chains to fully understand inherited CO2 emissions used in BV’s Gigaplant and in the process make this information readily available. 

It is believed to be the first time that both CO2 emissions from construction materials and a combined assessment of the social, economic and environmental impact on the local and regional economy for a large building have been tracked in this way.

Circulor will provide BV with a digital building inventory for the Gigaplant during the build phase to set a new global benchmark for sustainable/green construction and manufacturing. This will help on the company’s quest to build some of the world’s most low carbon battery cells.

Circulor will also ensure supply chain traceability for the battery materials used by BV, from source to manufacturing. This will allow BV to map CO2 emissions and other ESG considerations in its supply chains, and ensure materials are responsibly sourced.

Peter Rolton, Britishvolt UK CEO, said this data will allow for a complete and honest audit of the company’s net zero ambitions.

"We will set a new CO2 footprint traceability tool that will redefine industry standards," he said. "Producing some of the greenest batteries on the planet isn’t just about tracking the raw materials supply chain, it’s also about making sure the facilities we build, the energy we are supplied, in fact everything we do, is as sustainable and ethically delivered as possible."

Luise Müller-Hofstede, Client Partner, Circulor, said it is time to turn words into actions.

“We believe this is pioneering work, tracking both CO2 emissions from construction materials for a large building, and its social, economic and environmental impact on its local and regional economy, for the first time," she said.

"Doing the right thing is contagious and being part of BV’s journey is truly exciting. With BV racing forward, I hope this will encourage the wider industry to act responsibly. We all have to work together, collectively, on the road map to net-zero.”

The development is a major boost for Northumberland, and indeed the country, and will bring around 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and another 5,000-plus in the associated supply chains.

Enabling works recently started on site, following a unanimous planning application approval in July.

Britishvolt is on target to manufacture some of the world’s most sustainable, low carbon battery cells on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard located in Cambois, Northumberland.

The project will be built in phases towards total capacity by end-2027 onwards. First production will start at the end of 2023. This allows the business to keep on top of any technological advancements.

Once at full capacity, the Gigaplant will have a production capability equating to approximately enough cells for around 300,000+ electric vehicle battery packs per year, intended primarily for the automotive industry. It will be the first large full cycle Gigaplant in the UK.

More high-profile tie ups are emerging in the energy renewables space as companies seek supplies security amid economic and environmental uncertainty. Last month Britishvolt and Glencore sealed a supplies agreement.

McKinsey expects demand for lithium-ion batteries will grow to more than 3,500 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2030, from about 220 GWh in 2019. 

In this high-growth target scenario, 120 new large-scale factories would be needed to produce battery cells. The required raw-material inputs would increase up to 40 times, depending on the mineral used, and production of the active materials in battery cells would rise nearly 15-fold.

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