Award of £1.2m order for a 1.5MWh solid state battery assembly line


Mpac Group plc (AIM: MPAC), a global leader in engineering and automation providing assembly and packaging solutions, announces that it has received a £1.2m order to deliver a SiSTEM pilot battery assembly line secured by funding from the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF), partnered with Ilika, Agratas and The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre ("UKBIC").


Mpac will work closely with Ilika plc and the UKBIC to design, build and commission a 1.5MWh solid state battery ('SSB') assembly line capable of delivering Ilika's Goliath SSB prototype large-format pouch cells to automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. The project now has the additional support of Agratas who will play a pivotal role using their manufacturing expertise to inform the design of the SSB stacking and assembly equipment and to identify additional processes to be incorporated into its standard Lithium-ion Batteries (LIB) line to enable the production of SSB's. This collaboration with UK institutions, battery innovators and high-volume manufacturers highlights the value that Mpac provides to the industry and further cements its ambitions within the sector. The SSB assembly line is expected to be fully operational at Ilika's facility by the end of Q2 2025.


This project provides further growth within the Clean Energy sector for Mpac, utilising its expertise in assembly across multiple market sectors to provide innovative solutions for battery cell manufacturing.


The ATF is a funding programme created to support large-scale industrialisation accessed through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and delivered in collaboration with the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and Innovate UK. Up to £850 million of funding will be invested in developing a high-value end-to-end electrified automotive supply chain in the UK. The fund is highlighted as an important mechanism to reach targets in the UK Government's 10-Point Plan for a green industrial revolution and its Transport Decarbonisation Plan.


Adam Holland, Chief Executive Officer at Mpac Group plc said:


''We are delighted to be participating in The Automotive Transformation Fund project in partnership with Ilika, the UKBIC and Agratas, following the award of the prestigious APC grant for our SiSTEM pilot battery assemble line.  Mpac is a market leader in complex automation, and we are keen to apply our expertise to develop cutting-edge solutions for scaling up the assembly of innovative battery cells. This project demonstrates our commitment to technological advancement and aligns with the UK government's vision for a cleaner and more sustainable world''.


Graeme Purdy, Ilika CEO, stated:


"Our collaboration with Mpac in SiSTEM will see the development of a scaled SSB assembly line which will be capable of delivering Ilika's A-sample automotive pouch cells for testing in 2025. This is an important step in Ilika's roadmap, enabling us to engage closer with OEMs as we start to deliver SSB cells into their test programmes. We are delighted to welcome Agratas to the SiSTEM project. With their plans to build a UK gigafactory, Agratas will bring significant expertise to the programme and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship"

Valentina Gentili, Vice-President Global R&D at Agratas, said,


"We at Agratas are excited to be joining the ATF funded SiSTEM project. It will accelerate our learning on the production of solid-state batteries and enhance our relationships with key organisations in the UK battery industry. The project is well aligned to our mission of pioneering power for future generations, and we believe that solid state is a very promising future battery technology".  


Sean Gilgunn, Managing Director of UKBIC said:

"It's fantastic that Agratas has joined the SiSTEM project, which will see a 1.5MWh solid-state battery ('SSB') assembly line capable of delivering Ilika's Goliath SSB prototype large-format pouch cells being built in this project. The Automotive Transformation Fund ('ATF') funded project is a partnership between Ilika, MPAC, UKBIC and Agratas, which complements the Government's vision for Net Zero."


About UKBIC - UKBIC is the UK's national battery manufacturing facility providing manufacturing scale-up and skills for the battery sector.


Ian Constance, Chief Executive Officer at Advanced Propulsion Centre UK said, "Industrialisation of solid state batteries is one of our current defining challenges. This partnership and project supported by the Automotive Transformation Fund's Scale up Readiness Validation (SURV) programme could lead to a significant step forward in the roll out of solid state batteries and investment in advanced manufacturing in the UK. The strength and depth of this consortium demonstrates the leading-edge nature of the UK's position in battery technology that is key to driving a net zero future for the automotive sector and road transport."

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