Battery manufacture boost for UK

Australian mining has reported plans to open a battery and electric powertrain factory in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK.

According to the company, the new 13,500m2 facility will make a range of heavy industry, electric and zero-emission products for the off-road sector, including trucks and trains.

This includes automated assembly for battery modules and packs, assembly of power conversion and power systems, as well as truck and train production support.

The site will operate alongside Fortescue’s other Oxfordshire facilities including one in the village of Kidlington, Fortescue said.

In March 2022, the company acquired British manufacturers WAE, which will make the battery systems in the UK.

“With Fortescue’s investment, British engineering will be at the cutting edge of the green energy economy with WAE’s battery systems providing world leading technology to the entire global industrial sector,” said Fortescue chairman Dr Andrew Forrest.

The announcement follows the coming into force of the Australia – UK Free Trade Agreement, and will create more than 120 new jobs, the company said.

The first prototype build is targeted for July/August 2023 with the first mining haul truck module due for completion in August 2023. The site will officially open in 2024.