Britishvolt, Glencore forge partnership
Global miner invests in, supplying cobalt to UK batterymaker Metal Tech News - August 18, 2021
Last updated 8/24/2021 at 3:38pm
While ramping up construction of a lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility capable of producing enough cells each year to power 300,000 electric vehicles, Britishvolt has forged a strategic partnership with Glencore, the world's largest producer of the cobalt used in most electric vehicle batteries.
"Cobalt is a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries and knowing that we are being supplied with ethically produced, low-carbon cobalt is a signal to the market that we are living by our values," said Britishvolt CEO Orral Nadjari.
Under the partnership announced on Aug. 17, Glencore will be more than a reliable supplier of responsible cobalt. The Switzerland-based global mining company has also made an undisclosed investment into Britishvolt and will be supporting the batterymaker's recycling ambitions.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Britishvolt, a pioneer in UK electric vehicle battery technology and production," said David Brocas, head cobalt trader at Glencore. "The UK has a unique legacy of automotive innovation and Britishvolt's ambition to power the next generation of mobility will add to this rich history."
The milestone partnership with Glencore comes at a time when Britishvolt is on the cusp of beginning construction of a 30 gigawatt-hour factory in Northumberland, UK.
The project will be built in three phases, with each phase adding 10 GWh of capacity, with the third phase expected to be completed in 2027. In addition to scaling to meet the demands of the rapidly expanding EV sector in Europe and around the globe, this phased approach allows Britishvolt to adjust to any technological advancements as it builds out capacity.
The company said the partnership with Glencore helps to de-risk its ambitious plans while ensuring that the metals going into its batteries meet high environmental, social, and governance standards.
"This strategic partnership aligns perfectly with our world-class ESG principles, including applying best practice wherever possible as well as assessing labor, human rights and ethical procurement performance of our suppliers," said Nadjari. "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."
Glencore and Britishvolt say their collaboration underscores the need for strategic partnerships along the lithium-ion battery supply chains in order to make the rapid transition to low-carbon mobility and energy.
"Our commitment to support our partners in meeting their requirements for essential battery ingredients is key to underpinning long-term supply agreements," said Brocas. "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."