Battery-maker AMTE Power has secured planning permission to extend its factory in Thurso.
The London-listed company said it was benefiting from new opportunities, thanks to manufacturing “know-how” in its home town in Caithness.
Output from the site is increasing and AMTE now aims to “extend this site and capability”.
New tie-up for bringing electricity to some of world’s poorest communities
Announcing first-half results today, AMTE also revealed a new commercial tie-up for its Thurso-made sodium-ion batteries.
The company has teamed up with Midlands-based renewable energy and battery specialist AceOn to bring electricity to remote sub-Saharan African communities.
AceOn has placed an initial order for 1,000 of AMTE’s next generation batteries.
They will be at the heart of portable, solar energy-based power units helping to bring clean, affordable and sustainable power to some of the world’s poorest and most remote regions.
The power units are said to be “ideal for areas where the electricity infrastructure is not reliable or it is insufficient to meet local needs, such as parts of Africa, India and Australia”.
AMTE is developing its Ultra Safe batteries in Thurso, while simultaneously progressing plans for a new “gigafactory” elsewhere in the UK – Dundee has been mooted as a potential location.
The company released an image, alongside its half-year results, showing what the new plant may look like.
Chief executive Kevin Brundish said: “Our work with AceOn represents a further step in our commercialisation of differentiated cells that will power the energy transition.
“Sodium-ion has huge potential for application in energy storage where there is a need to dramatically scale-up production of safe, stable battery technology alongside the growth of renewables.
“The UK has long been a pioneer in new battery technology and partnerships like ours underpin the opportunity for the UK to be the driving force in the development of sodium-ion.”
Pre-tax losses for the six months to December 31 2021 widened to £2.65m, from £1.46m a year ago.
Revenue for the latest period came in at £815,174, up from £623,536 previously.
Shares in the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) firm fell nearly 5% to 88p following the results.
AMTE – which has traded since 1997 – joined the AIM last March, raising £13.7m, nearly twice its original goal of £7m.
Mr Brundish said: “A year on from listing we have used our proven cell manufacturing expertise to forge our clear pathway to full commercialisation as the market leader in advanced battery cells focusing on the huge global markets of energy storage and high-performance automotive sectors.
“We have invested in ongoing development, increased cell production rates, and developed commercial relationships and partnerships as well as refined our plans during the past six months. We anticipate that significant milestones will be achieved during 2022.
He added: “We are excited for the current year; we are pleased with our progress and expansion towards gigafactory production rates.
“We are in a strong position in the market, with a depth of operational expertise and management know-how to deliver on our plans.”