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The first of more than £60 million of equipment has been delivered to the new £129 million UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) near Coventry which will open later this year.

Caption: From the left, George Hull, Colin Mitchell, Jeff Pratt, Brendan McCarthy (all from UKBIC)

The practical completion of the new 18,000 sqm building has been achieved and phase two is now underway to add the production equipment, services and the internal finish which will be needed at the home of the UK’s new centre to help companies develop and scale-up production of the latest UK battery technology.

The facility is being created with funding from the Faraday Battery Challenge which is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to help the UK lead the world in the development of battery technology. Electrode production equipment has arrived from suppliers in Europe and is already being installed inside the building.

Jeff Pratt, Managing Director of UKBIC, said: “There are three distinct phases in assembling this kind of building.

“We have just achieved the major milestone of practical completion of the site and building works, and the first shipments of electrode production equipment have started to arrive on-site for installation and commissioning in the facility.

“Now that the shell of the building has been constructed, along with the car-parking and access roads, services such as heating, gas, electricity and water are being installed to enable us to power up the process equipment. Clean and dry rooms are also being installed.

“UKBIC will offer the same industrial-standard production equipment you would find in any major battery production factory around the world and is capable of running at the rates and volumes needed to tip the balance of risk and confidence in favour of new UK technology.

“Work is progressing well and when it is completed in 2020, we will be playing our part in enabling the development and manufacture of batteries in the UK.”

The ground-breaking UKBIC is being established after a joint bid by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), Coventry City Council and Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick who won a national competition run by the Advanced Propulsion Centre and supported by Innovate UK.

UKBIC is one of the major projects which will be showcased at MIPIM – the major commercial property development and investment show – which takes place in France from March 10-13.

The area is represented at the event by the Coventry & Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership which is made up of around 20 private sector companies and organisations who promote the area’s presence at the four-day event and is a commercial partner of the Midlands UK delegation.