Fortescue is ‘significantly’ expanding its battery and electric powertrain and battery production operations in the UK via an additional facility in Oxfordshire that will create more than 120 jobs.
The expansion is part of Fortescue’s aim to grow its British presence through the recent integration of British manufacturers WAE (formerly Williams Advanced Engineering).
“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 Andrew Forrest. “It is heartening to have the UK’s Trade Secretary today at our factory in Oxfordshire to support this message of British technology excellence for both its people and its highly attractive working environment.”
Following entry-into-force of the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Fortescue will open the new site this year in Banbury, significantly expanding its UK manufacturing capability, supplying advanced batteries and electric powertrains globally.
The new location will be focused on production of a wide range of zero-emission products for the off-road sector, including trucks and trains. It will form part of a new global business aimed at driving decarbonisation in all fields of economic activity, while building sovereign capabilities in emerging technology.
The factory will cover over 13,500m2 in total and employ over 120 highly skilled engineers, technicians, apprentices and graduates, with recruitment for the industrialisation programme starting now.
This announcement ensures Australia and the UK build sovereign capability in an area of central importance to future economic development and is another key win of the UK Government’s free trade agenda.
The integration follows Fortescue gearing up to meet growing global demand for the development, manufacture, and supply of advanced electrification technology solutions to the off-highway sector.
The first prototype build is targeted for July/August 2023 with the first mining haul truck module due for completion in August 2023.