ISG’s Britishvolt scheme has achieved a major milestone, with the first 1,500t load of aggregate arriving at the Port of Blyth in Northumberland to commence the main ground works phase of the £2.6bn gigafactory development.

The project, which will be the size of 50 football pitches, will require 316,000t of stone for the formation of a stable surface to install more than 15,000 foundational piles around the perimeter and within the footprint of the 25ha building.

The next 24 weeks will see two train deliveries being made every day to the port.

This Port of Blyth will become an important materials centre for the project.

Following the accumulation of the stockpile of aggregate, a major haulage operation will begin to carry the aggregate from the port to the site, which is a 1.3-mile journey.

It is estimated that a total of 334 journeys will be required daily, with one lorry load entering site each three minutes over the 24-week period.

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This haulage operation will eliminate several thousands of vehicle journeys off the main roads surrounding Cambois and Blyth.

ISG construction director Rob Bradley said: “Logistical and timetable constraints ruled out direct deliveries to the site from the existing rail line adjacent to our site boundary, so we sought an alternative solution that would minimise disruption and support the local economy.

“The Port of Blyth is an ideal materials hub, with the infrastructure and logistical expertise to run this programme-critical operation, and this solution importantly uses skilled operatives that were facing a challenging future as existing haulage contracts were winding down in the area.”

In December 2020, developer Britishvolt appointed ISG as construction contractor for the UK’s first battery gigaplant.

This plant in Blyth, Northumberland, is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

The gigaplant has been designed by Pininfarina.

Once operational, the gigaplant and will produce lithium-ion batteries for the automotive and energy storage industries.

The £2.6bn gigaplant is expected to offer around 3,000 jobs and up to 5,000 in the wider supply chain.
Image: The next 24 weeks will see two train deliveries being made every day to the port. Credit: ISG.