Britishvolt joins Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation
With a mission to build the UK’s first lithium-ion battery Gigafactory, Britishvolt has joined Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation.
Britishvolt’s £2.6bn facility in Northumberland
WIth ambitions to be one of the largest manufacturing plants in Europe, Britishvolt recently announced its plans to build a £2.6bn facility in Northumberland. With supply chain partners and green low carbon energy production, the facility aims to produce enough cells for 300,000 lithium-ion battery packs a year by the time it is fully operational in 2027.
Expected to be the key to maintaining the success of the UK’s automotive sector, the facility will employ 3,000 skilled employees directly as well as supporting 5,000 in the supply chain.
Representing 20,000 companies of multiple sizes in engineering, manufacturing, technology and the wider industrial sector, Make UK is one of the UK’s major business bodies providing a range of services to drive competitiveness for organisations.
With its policy work, it is said that Make UK shares the same ambitions as Britishvolt to provide sustainable transport solutions, advanced manufacturing and renewable energy.
“The commitment of Britishvolt to the UK is a testament to the fact the country remains at the forefront of investment in high technology and innovation. Such an endorsement of the UK manufacturing’s capability is critical to the future of the sector, in particular securing the jewel in the crown of our domestic automotive sector. I look forward to working with Britishvolt to promote our shared objectives,” commented, Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive, Make UK.
“We are looking forward to being an active member of Make UK, working alongside the manufacturing industry to help futureproof the UK economy. The country needs a gigaplant as a matter of strategic importance to help protect the UK workforce and create a new industry that will serve future generations. Electrification of mobility will play a key part in shaping the evolution of employment in the UK,” added Peter Rolton, Chairman, Britishvolt.
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.