Australian Mining Giant Fortescue Expands: New Battery Plant to Create 120+ Jobs

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Fortescue, the Australian mining company, has unveiled plans to expand its operations in Oxfordshire, creating over 120 skilled jobs. 

The company, known for its iron ore expertise, will establish a cutting-edge battery facility in Banbury, further bolstering the UK’s electric vehicle supply chain.

Earlier this year, Fortescue’s Australian billionaire and founder Andrew Forrest revealed plans to establish an advanced battery plant in Kidlington. The forthcoming Banbury site, set to open in 2024, will cover over 13,500 m2 and employ a skilled workforce of engineers, technicians, apprentices, and graduates.

This development follows the signing of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement, effective May 31, eliminating tariffs on over 99% of Australian goods exported to the UK.

“Fortescue’s investment in Oxford shows how this government is creating the right conditions to encourage cutting-edge advanced manufacturing companies to invest in the UK,” Business and Trade Secretary of the UK Kemi Badenoch said.

With a focus on next-generation manufacturing, the UK’s Free Trade Agreement with Australia emphasises the significance of this expansion in meeting the rising global demand for advanced electrification technology solutions in the off-highway sector.

According to Mr. Forrest, the Oxfordshire expansion is a crucial step in Fortescue’s commitment to strengthen its presence in the UK by collaborating with British manufacturers WAE. 

“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,” he said.

The factory aims to begin the production of heavy industry and zero-emission powertrain systems, with the prototype build targeted for July/August 2023 and the completion of the initial mining haul truck module expected by August 2023.

Fortescue’s expansion plans in Oxfordshire demonstrate their commitment to bolstering the UK’s electric vehicle supply chain and contributing to the green energy economy.

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