Glencore and Britishvolt enter long-term supply agreement

Article by Amanda Doyle

GLENCORE and Britishvolt have signed an agreement for the mining company to supply responsibly-sourced cobalt for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.

Glencore says the long-term strategic partnership will create long-term security and therefore de-risk the operation. According to The Financial Times, Glencore will supply 30% of the metals required by Britishvolt between 2024 and 2030. Glencore has also made an undisclosed investment in Britishvolt.

Britishvolt is building a battery “gigafactory” to manufacture low-carbon battery cells in Cambois, Northumberland, on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard. The £2.6bn (US$3.6bn) project will be Britain’s first gigafactory, according to The Financial Times.

It will be constructed in three phases of 10 GWh, with the aim of reaching a capacity of 30 GWh by the end of 2027. At full capacity, the facility will produce enough cells for 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs per year.

However, The Guardian has reported that there is controversy over Glencore’s investment in Britishvolt as there are currently multiple corruption investigations ongoing into the mining company’s operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

David Brocas, Head Cobalt Trader, Glencore, said: “Our commitment to support our partners in meeting their requirements for essential battery ingredients is key to underpinning long-term supply agreements. As the mobility and energy transition accelerates, so does future demand for battery metals such as cobalt, copper and nickel. Glencore is already a leading producer and supplier of these metals, helping to underpin our ambition of achieving net zero total emissions by 2050.”

Orral Nadjari, Britishvolt CEO/Founder, said: “This is a huge step in the right direction for Britishvolt as we look to accelerate the transition to a low carbon society. By partnering with Glencore, we are locking in supply and de-risking the project.”

“We believe that to be a true pioneer in the battery cell manufacturing industry, business must lead by example and ensure that its supply chains are as ethical, low carbon and sustainable as possible.”

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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