The drive to Net Zero is leading to a rapid growth in the use of lithium-ion batteries, largely for the automotive industry and in battery energy storage systems. Battery manufacturing facilities (so called gigafactories) are being developed all over the world, and one such development is the Britishvolt Gigafactory in Blyth, north-east England.
Due to the nature of some substances used in battery manufacture, gigafactories face similar issues to other high hazard industries with respect to process safety and major hazards management. The industry must comply with the same safety legislation, which, in the UK, includes the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations and the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR). Potential sites for gigafactories are also likely to be subject to land use planning controls.
Kent has a large team of safety professionals with over 40 years of experience in dealing with these matters in all types of high hazard industry. Since 2020 we have been using this experience to provide specialist support to the Britishvolt project in process safety management and regulatory compliance. Specifically, we developed a bespoke ‘road map’, showing the necessary steps and activities to achieve regulatory consent and approval, and we have been leading on execution of this road map, which includes the following: