Britishvolt Gigafactory works progress

Britishvolt’s Northumberland Gigaplant has reached a key milestone, with the first train load of aggregate arriving at the Port of Blyth to kickstart the main groundworks phase.

The first 1,500-tonne load of aggregate, from a quarry at Shap in Cumbria, is critical for the formation of a stable surface for the building.

Two train deliveries will be made each day to the Port of Tyne for the next 24-weeks in one of the largest orders that Breedon Group will be making this year for main contractor ISG.

The Port of Blyth will become a materials hub for the project and, once a stockpile of aggregate has accumulated, a haulage operation will commence to transport the materials to the site of the plant.

Rob Bradley, construction director for ISG, said: “Logistical and timetable constraints ruled out direct deliveries to the site from the existing rail line adjacent to our site boundary, so we sought an alternative solution that would minimise disruption and support the local economy.

“The Port of Blyth is an ideal materials hub, with the infrastructure and logistical expertise to run this programme-critical operation, and this solution importantly uses skilled operatives that were facing a challenging future as existing haulage contracts were winding down in the area.”

Craig Woodburn, head of ESG at Britishvolt, added: “Building the UK’s largest Gigafactory is an immense undertaking, but despite the scale, complexity and pace of this ground-breaking scheme, our project team interrogates every decision we take to maximise value for the regional economy here in Cambois, while also reducing the local environmental impact of developing a new site.

“By selecting primarily rail movements over road transport we reduce local impact and reduce overall carbon emissions associated with getting the material to our site.

“The key milestones that have taken this project from a concept vision to shovel ready project in record time have all been achieved through consent and collaboration with the local community, and we are committed to paying forward this belief and trust in Britishvolt by making the right decisions, not the easy ones, to ensure we create a true legacy transformation for this region for generations to come.”