Dundee in running as battery cell pioneer AMTE Power closes in on UK 'gigafactory' site

Scottish battery cell pioneer AMTE Power expects to announce the site of its UK “gigafactory” next year, with Dundee in the running.

The company was co-founded in 2013 by chief executive Kevin Brundish, together with several others, including former colleagues from defence technology heavyweight QinetiQ.

AMTE, which is based in the Caithness town of Thurso, raised millions of pounds earlier this year as its shares were admitted to the Alternative Investment Market (Aim).

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The firm boasts the second largest cell manufacturing capacity in the UK and Brundish said Thurso would continue to play a key role, particularly with products targeted at the oil and gas market.

AMTE Power is a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery cells for specialist markets. Picture: Angus Mackay
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Bosses expect to confirm the site of the gigafactory and government funding support during 2022, with the north-east of England and Wales also among the possible locations.

Releasing the group’s full-year results, Brundish said the business was moving rapidly from development to supply and making “good progress” with its core products, which also include battery cells for electric cars and public transport, and energy storage.

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He said: “This has been a successful period for the business. While the initial public offering (IPO) was a major focus and success for the company, we have also made excellent progress towards commercialising our portfolio of battery products.

“We are collaborating well with government funded organisations, tasked with accelerating the UK's move away from fossil fuels to battery power. Our products are being tested with these bodies and commercial partners for being suitable for large scale manufacture as well as being capable of meeting the commercial needs of our future customers.

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“We continue to focus on the development of multiple cells for a variety of specialist markets, not just automotive, all with sufficient scale to make them highly commercially attractive."

He said Scotland figured prominently in the firm’s growth plans, particularly with the country’s strength in renewable energy.

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All three of the group's “highly differentiated” battery cells in development made good progress during the year and remain on track for one to be released in each of the next three years, the firm added.

Under a framework agreement with the publicly funded £130 million UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, AMTE is one of the first businesses to take advantage of this facility as part of the scale up of its products in advance of commercialisation.

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Although still on a pathway to volume production, turnover rose sharply in the year to the end of June, to £2m, from £1.3m in the previous 12 months.

March’s IPO alongside an oversubscribed placing to new and existing shareholders raised gross proceeds of £12.9m.

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The final results revealed an adjusted loss before tax of £3.1m, up from £2m, following the adjustment for share based payments of £900,000 in 2021 and £100,000 in 2020.

As of the end of June, the group had cash and cash equivalents of £9.3m, thanks to the successful stock market flotation.

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Chairman David Morgan added: “AMTE Power is in a good position. There is a high level of commercial interest in our products.”

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