Plans submitted for £450m Nissan car battery gigafactory in Sunderland

Planning applications have now been submitted for Envision AESC’s new gigafactory after the proposals were announced at Sunderland’s Nissan plant earlier this month.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 1:14 pm

Envision AESC has submitted plans for the gigafactory, which will be built at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) in Sunderland.

The huge 9GWh-capacity Gigafactory will form part of a £1billion partnership with Nissan UK and Sunderland City Council to create an electric vehicle hub supporting the next generation of electric vehicle production.

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This is what Envision AESC's gigafactory could look like if plans are approved.

Construction is due to begin in 2022, with the aim of starting battery production in 2024 – with the new scaled up plant set to produce batteries to power more than 100,000 electric vehicles a year.

The gigafactory will be powered by 100% renewable energy and supported by a microgrid which is being developed by Sunderland City Council.

It will see the plant take power created by solar and wind from the national electricity grid and use their own batteries to store and power the gigafactory.

Envision AESC UK managing director Chris Caygill said: "Envision AESC runs the world’s best battery plants in terms of automation, productivity and quality.

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“If planning permission is granted for this transformational project we will accelerate the transition to net zero carbon neutrality by providing state of the art batteries for 100,000 more electric vehicles a year and help make them more affordable.

"It is down to the innovation and ingenuity of the highly skilled employees at our existing plant that we are able to take this next important step.

Envision is working in partnership with Nissan and Sunderland City Council on the scheme which is expected to secure jobs and economic growth for the region for future generations.

The plant currently produces batteries for the Nissan Leaf.

Ahead of submitting the planning application, a public consultation was carried out with local stakeholders and residents with 80% of those consulted on the plans offering positive support for the project.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, added: “We all knew the potential of IAMP, given its close proximity to Nissan and the exceptional infrastructure supporting it, but the rapid transformation of this site from undeveloped land into a powerhouse advanced manufacturing site shows the level of ambition of IAMP LLP.

“Envision AESC will create high-quality jobs for local people – green jobs, producing green products, supported by green energy to power green cars. We’re delighted that this project is moving forward and will continue to play a pivotal, proactive role in supporting job creation in the area."

The new gigafactory will see 750 new jobs created, as well as safeguarding 300 jobs at the existing plant.

The gigafactory will be the largest facility on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park if approved and represents a significant step forward for the 150-hectare site, which was created by South Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council in 2018 to attract business investment to the region.

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