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UK Infrastructure Bank Grants £200m Loan to ESC’s Gigafactory in Sunderland

by Anna

The UK Infrastructure Bank has announced a substantial £200 million loan to support ESC’s gigafactory in Sunderland, located in the North East of England. The funding will contribute to the construction of a 15.8GWh gigafactory, which commenced in 2022 and is set to create over 1,000 jobs upon completion.

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This gigafactory is pivotal to the UK’s electric vehicle supply chain, specifically focused on manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for the next generation of electric vehicles produced in the country. Recognizing the significance of domestic battery production for the success of future UK car manufacturing and the transition to net-zero emissions, the UK Infrastructure Bank’s bridging loan aligns with the government’s Battery Strategy.

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According to recent forecasts, around 200GWh of batteries will be required by 2040 to meet the demand from car manufacturers. The loan supports the bank’s core mission of addressing climate change, fostering local and regional economic growth, and investing in critical supply chains and advanced manufacturing that facilitate the UK’s net-zero transition.

AESC, headquartered in Japan, is the developer and manufacturer of high-performance batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. The Sunderland gigafactory will be AESC’s second plant in the region, complementing the existing 1.8GWh facility operational since 2012.

John Flint, CEO of the UK Infrastructure Bank, emphasized the crucial role of a domestic battery supply chain in the UK’s transition to net-zero and its broader economic impact. He highlighted the potential for gigafactories to create and secure thousands of jobs, emphasizing the bank’s commitment to financing essential net-zero infrastructure.

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