Scottish battery factory goes bust in fresh blow to UK’s net zero industry


By Paul Homewood

h/t Ian Magness

Eventually they might work out that you cannot create jobs by government diktat!

AMTE Power, a high-performance battery developer, has called in administrators in a fresh blow to Britain’s net zero industry.

The company warned in the summer that it was in financial trouble and had days to find a new backer or help from existing shareholders.

An investor pulled the plug on fresh funding after plans to build a new plant in Dundee were scrapped.

AMTE said in a stock market notice: “The board has no other options to secure finance in the time available and has therefore concluded that the company has insufficient funds to continue trading.”

It said it appointed FRP Advisory as administrator to find a buyer and trading of its shares are suspended.

The company, which is based in Oxfordshire but has its main operations in Thurso, planned a 0.5GWh half-gigafactory in Dundee to make batteries for potential clients such as BMW and Cosworth.

AMTE had a long history in developing lithium cells, making some of the first examples in the 1990s. Recently, AMTE said it tested cells that can be charged fully in six minutes in a breakthrough for charging technology.

However, it has been making a loss. It did not get the firm orders it needed from carmakers and other potential customers, or a patient investor that could fuel an expansion in production.

AMTE’s fate mirrors that of Britishvolt, another would-be independent UK gigafactory.

Britishvolt was the brainchild of former investment banker Orral Nadjari, who saw the looming demand for batteries from carmakers in the UK and a gap in the market for an independent producer, planning a £3.8bn factory in Blyth, Northumberland.

But it ran out of funding after borrowing became more expensive. At the time of its demise in January, the company had signed initial deals with carmakers such as Aston Martin, but it had secured no firm orders.

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December 21, 2023 2:20 am

Entrepreneurs create jobs. Governments tax them.

December 21, 2023 2:27 am

Another green success story. Meanwhile…

China unveils world’s deepest drilling ship that can plunge 36,000ft to harvest futuristic energy source ‘flammable ice’

If extracted properly from the ocean beds, the vast reserves of methane hydrate deposits could guarantee at least 1000 years of global energy consumption.

Reply to  strativarius
December 21, 2023 3:47 am

I hope that it’s safe and effective.

Bryan A
Reply to  Scissor
December 21, 2023 5:27 am

Beneficial too, you burn it and it oxidized into Plant Food and Water. CO2 and H2O

Reply to  strativarius
December 21, 2023 9:31 am

“The ambitious vessel can travel a distance of 15,000 nautical miles and can continuously operate for up to 120 days”? Am I to believe that this is impressive? Wow? It also has laboratories on board? What an innovation! This is a horrible puff piece no doubt written by the Administration of Propaganda.

Bryan A
Reply to  rhb2
December 21, 2023 9:33 am

Thats…The Peoples Republic of Propaganda

Reply to  Bryan A
December 21, 2023 10:48 am

The Peoples Republic of Propaganda

The US Government wrote that?

Reply to  strativarius
December 21, 2023 5:41 pm

Sounds like the Glomar Explorer. Makes you wonder what they really want that ship for.

December 21, 2023 2:39 am

Yet another “Triumph” for the Big Green Industrial Complex.

Reply to  cartoss
December 22, 2023 8:43 am

Perhaps they supplied the duff batteries for Oslo’s e buses.

Reply to  cartoss
December 22, 2023 1:23 pm

No wonder!
People are finally catching on to the tremendous capital and operating cost of battery systems.
Go to the Tesla Megapack website which gives prices/kWh delivered as AC. All those prices are over $450/kWh, add to that the other costs for a complete turnkey system, and you are at $575/kWh.

Bloomberg, Lazard, etc., still use these rediculous numbers of $100/kWh.
Where in hell do they get those numbers?

This articles explains all in detail



Example of Turnkey Cost of Large-Scale, Megapack Battery System, 2023 pricing
The system consists of 50 Megapack 2, rated 45.3 MW/181.9 MWh, 4-h energy delivery
Power = 50 Megapacks x 0.979 MW x 0.926, Tesla design factor = 45.3 MW
Energy = 50 Megapacks x 3.916 MWh x 0.929, Tesla design factor = 181.9 MWh
Estimate of supply by Tesla, $90 million, or $495/kWh. See URL
Estimate of supply by Others, $14.5 million, or $80/kWh
All-in, turnkey cost about $575/kWh; 2023 pricing
comment image?itok=lxTa2SlF
Annual Cost of Megapack Battery Systems; 2023 pricing
Assume a system rated 45.3 MW/181.9 MWh, and an all-in turnkey cost of $104.5 million, per Example 2
Amortize bank loan for 50% of $104.5 million at 6.5%/y for 15 years, $5.462 million/y
Pay Owner return of 50% of $104.5 million at 10%/y for 15 years, $6.738 million/y (10% due to high inflation)
Lifetime (Bank + Owner) payments 15 x (5.462 + 6.738) = $183 million
Assume battery daily usage for 15 years at 10%, and losses at 19%
Battery output = 15 y x 365 d/y x 181.9 MWh x 0.1, usage x 1000 kWh/MWh = 99,590,250 kWh delivered to HV grid
(Bank + Owner) payments, $183 million / 99,590,250 kWh = 183.8 c/kWh
Less 50% subsidies (ITC, depreciation in 5 years, deduction of interest on borrowed funds) is 91.9c/kWh
At 10% usage, publicized cost, 91.9 c/kWh
At 40% usage, publicized cost, 23.0 c/kWh
Excluded costs/kWh: 1) O&M; 2) system aging, 3) system losses from HV grid to HV grid, 3) grid extension/reinforcement to connect the battery systems, 5) downtime of parts of the system, 6) decommissioning in year 15, i.e., disassembly, reprocessing and storing at hazardous waste sites.
NOTE 1: The 40% usage is close to Tesla’s recommendation of 60% usage, i.e., not charging above 80% and not discharging below 20%. Tesla’s recommendation was not heeded be owners of the Hornsdale Power Reserve. They added Megapacks to offset rapid aging of the original system and added more Megapacks to increase the rating of the expanded system.
NOTE 2: Aerial photos of large-scale battery systems with many Megapacks, show many items of equipment, other than the Tesla supply, such as step-down/step-up transformers, switchgear, connections to the grid, land, access roads, fencing, security, site lighting, i.e., the cost of the Tesla supply is only one part of the battery system cost at a site.
NOTE 3: Battery system turnkey capital costs and electricity storage costs likely will be much higher in 2023 and future years, than in 2021 and earlier years, due to: 1) increased inflation rates, 2) increased interest rates, 3) supply chain disruptions, which delay projects and increase costs, 4) increased energy prices, such as of oil, gas, coal, electricity, etc., 5) increased materials prices, such as of tungsten, cobalt, lithium, copper, manganese, etc., 6) increased labor rates.
NOTE 4: World cobalt production was 142,000 and 170,000 metric ton, in 2020 and 2021, respectively, of which the Democratic Republic of the Congo was 120,000 metric ton in 2021.

NOTE 5: If a 24-h system is desired, each parallel train would have  10 units x 4 h/unit x 0.6, Tesla limit = 24 hours
Ten, 4-h Megapacks, in series, would be required

Above Example 2 would have 50 x 6 = 300 Megapacks. The Tesla design factors would be different

Interested Observer
December 21, 2023 2:42 am

Eventually they might work out that you cannot create jobs by government diktat.

Eventually stupid people will stop being stupid. Yeah, good luck with that.

How many failed examples of socialism are we up to now? There’s no sign that socialists are ever going to give up on their futile dreams yet.

john cheshire
Reply to  Interested Observer
December 21, 2023 4:47 am

As Margaret Thatcher said, the trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.
As Nelson Munt of the Simpsons is wont to say, ‘Haa,ha’.

Reply to  Interested Observer
December 21, 2023 8:21 am

Yes you can. But the bigger government grows the more it has to tax or print eventually crippling the society it feasts on just like a cancer.

Reply to  Interested Observer
December 21, 2023 9:56 am

How many failed examples of socialism are we up to now?”

All of them. And the most egregious of them, Nazi Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Pot Pot’s Cambodia, degenerated into mass murder.

Reply to  Interested Observer
December 21, 2023 1:59 pm

Unfetter capitalism doesn’t work very well either. About the only groups using that are the drug gangs across the world.

To make capitalism work you need a big government to regulate them or the capitalists will just sell defective or harmful things to the public and run off with their profits.

Reply to  scvblwxq
December 21, 2023 2:00 pm

Pick your poison.

Reply to  scvblwxq
December 21, 2023 2:08 pm

There never has been unfettered capitalism.
It’s a complete lie that you need big government to tame capitalism. All you need is a legal system and the will to enforce the laws that are passed.

Almost all of, if not all of, the ills attributed to capitalism are actually the result of bad government regulations.

abolition man
Reply to  MarkW
December 21, 2023 8:33 pm

Except when the greedy allies of the big government actors star acting like senile old women; then you get crone capitalism!

Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2023 1:19 pm

And lousy vetting of Judges.

Reply to  scvblwxq
December 21, 2023 3:27 pm

Another point is that only someone who knows nothing of free markets would consider drug gangs to be a good example of capitalism.
Drug gangs have to stay hidden because the police are always trying to arrest the members and take their stuff.
Beyond that, they can’t use the courts to resolve any disputes.

Reply to  MarkW
December 21, 2023 7:24 pm

Nor can drug gangs raise capital in public markets (unless they are incorporated, such as Pfizer).

Reply to  AndyHce
December 22, 2023 1:20 pm

😎 😎 😎 😎 😎

Reply to  scvblwxq
December 21, 2023 7:20 pm

As often happens here, you confuse free enterprise with capitalism. Capital always has to come from somewhere. Without adequate capital, nothing can be accomplished.

Reply to  scvblwxq
December 22, 2023 12:33 pm

CRONY capitalism doesn’t work well.

December 21, 2023 3:18 am

I see that headline picture of an AMTE factory a lot. It is an artist’s impression. A little googling will turn up a picture of the real factory. It is little bigger than a unit on an industrial estate—not a “gigafactory” (stupid term).

And it is in Thurso, which is literally as far away from anything as you get and still be on the mainland of the UK.

Richard Page
Reply to  quelgeek
December 21, 2023 4:21 am

I think that picture is from AMTE, as a concept of what they wanted to expand to. Once again, wishful thinking got slapped down hard by reality.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  quelgeek
December 21, 2023 5:24 am

At a guess Thurso is an ‘oil town’ previously dependant on North Sea oil & gas but now with large unemployment problem
(need I say more)

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 21, 2023 7:21 am

Thurso is the only town on the northern shoreline of the UK and is situated a few miles from Dounreay, the site of the UK’s Fast Reactor research from 1955 -1994. That site is currently being cleaned up and will be available for reuse in 2333! ( yes 310 yrs time)

Reply to  Dave Andrews
December 21, 2023 2:48 pm

Dave Andrews,
What a lovely example of bureaucratic muscle flexing.
You need to reflect why Hiroshima and Nagasaki (been there) were rebuilt into flourishing cities a decade or two after their A- bombs, while little old Dounreay, operated with stringent safety procedures, is so contaminated that people are excluded for so long, hundreds of years .
Dave, the problem is with unscientific regulatory limits, not with scientific knowledge of actual radioactivity properties.
Have a read of my WUWT article on Rockefeller money and power subverting nuclear regulation in USA.
Geoff S

Dave Andrews
Reply to  sherro01
December 22, 2023 6:41 am

Geoff, I agree with you. I was amazed when I found out about that timescale.

Joseph Zorzin
December 21, 2023 4:34 am

Must take a lot of fossil fuel to build a big battery factory!

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 22, 2023 12:36 pm

It also requires huge amounts of fossil fuel to mine the ore and make metallic lithium.

Right-Handed Shark
December 21, 2023 4:43 am

Reality bites. Pretty soon, even politicians will discover that there are no “solutions” to an invented “problem”.

Tom Abbott
December 21, 2023 4:52 am

I see where Panasonic has declined to build a new battery factory here in Oklahoma. They were working on a deal and the State of Oklahoma was going to provide something like $700 million in tax breaks, but Panasonic decided to rethink their business approach.

Electric Vehicles and infrastructure are not doing so well lately. A lot of pulling back going on.

Joe Biden said the new Electric Chevy Corvette can go from zero to 60mph in 2.6 seconds. When asked if he was going to test it out, he said “yes”.

I would like to see that. Not the car, but Joe Biden successfully driving one without wrecking it.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 21, 2023 5:28 am

“”o from zero to 60mph in 2.6

Fine. Try doing that with a wife, 2 kids and some shopping in the back and you’ll be inside a lawyer’s office attempting to explain ‘unreasonable behaviour‘ in half that time

You won’t be able to and it will all become very expensive
The lawyer will be OK tho.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 22, 2023 2:23 am

Yeah, nobody needs to go from zero to 60mph in 2.6 seconds. Unless you are on a racetrack.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 21, 2023 5:31 am

Heck, most electrics can’t even drive themselves without crashing

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 21, 2023 6:04 am

If you to want to get a (an hilarious) taste of the EV future, then watch the new Netflix film “Leave the World Behind.” (The scene appears about 3/4 way through the film when the lead couple try to escape their Long Island beach rental.)

(This film is supported by the Obamas.)

Reply to  Nik
December 21, 2023 8:49 am

I did chuckle at that scene because it made sense.

Similarly, what is a self-driving car but a very low, slow cruise missile waiting to be tasked?

Reply to  Nik
December 21, 2023 11:02 am

I’ve seen a couple scenes of that trainwreck. I doubt I would be able to handle any more.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nik
December 22, 2023 2:26 am

“This film is supported by the Obamas”

That must be the new movie where one of the black characters tells us all how we shouldn’t trust white people.

Yeah, that’s Obama through and through. Just the sentiment he wants to put forward. Obama is a racist.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 22, 2023 7:58 am

I’ve heard about that scene but haven’t seen it in the snippets I have seen. The one that really got me though is the scene where they guy is talking about his friends “evil cabal”. He actually uses the term “evil cabal”.

Although the scene with the guy saying he’s useless without his cell phone rang remarkably true.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 21, 2023 7:15 am

Panasonic is building a battery factory in Johnson County Kansas right now. They got $6.8 billion in federal money for the project. Supposed to provide 4000 jobs when finished. Also got a lot of state money, and the local congressperson was jubilant over the ribbon cutting a couple years ago.

Here is the kicker. It has such a high electricity demand that Evergy, the local utility, will have to keep operating a coal plant that they have promised to shut down. That and build many miles of transmission lines and new substations. There are signs all over liberal Lawrence Kansas, location of the coal plant, demanding that Evergy keep their word and shut it down.

As an aside, the site for the battery plant probably makes more sense than some other siting decisions. It is located at an old decommissioned ammunition plant, which probably has contamination issues if it were to be used for something non-industrial.

All in all, I guess the battery business as not quite as green as promised.

Bryan A
Reply to  starzmom
December 21, 2023 9:37 am

It’s truly energy intensive to create something that is supposed to provide clean energy…generally more energy intensive than the energy it will produce over it’s useful lifespan

Tom Abbott
Reply to  starzmom
December 22, 2023 2:30 am

Yes, I think the Oklahoma battery plant was supposed to be an extension of the Kansas plant, but apparently Panasonic is rethinking the expansion. And we can probably guess why, as a lot of EV-related companies are rethinking their strategy as the EV market is seeming to falter.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 22, 2023 1:25 pm

The Air Bags in his vehicle(s) are actually filled with “documents”.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  sturmudgeon
December 23, 2023 3:20 am

I wouldn’t doubt it. 🙂

James Snook
December 21, 2023 5:48 am

AMTE’s fate mirrors that of Britishvolt,
At least AMTE had some sort of a product, Britishvolt didn’t even have that! It was just classic net zero hand waving.

Richard Page
Reply to  James Snook
December 21, 2023 9:31 am

The head of Britishvolt mentioned that they and all battery manufacturers are reliant on there being a breakthrough in battery technology within 10 years – now that’s magical thinking, starting a battery manufacturing operation hoping for a better battery materialises before you go bankrupt.

Coach Springer
December 21, 2023 5:54 am

Charging a car battery in 6 minutes? 24 kwh (average capacity) of energy in 6 minutes?Wouldn’t that be something like having to have an electric service that would allow you to turn on 240 1000-watt bulbs (for 6 minute)? Or to run 40 central air conditioners at once?

Coach Springer
Reply to  Coach Springer
December 21, 2023 5:56 am

Wonder what that would do to a squirrel.

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  Coach Springer
December 21, 2023 7:30 am

It would just have to run faster.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
December 21, 2023 10:49 am

“It would just have to run faster.”

What impact would running faster have on its consumption of acorns?

Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
December 21, 2023 7:29 pm

cage bearing have their limits.

Bryan A
Reply to  Coach Springer
December 21, 2023 9:41 am

Wouldn’t that take a dedicated capacity of 240KW per car being charged?
That would be almost 1MW per every 4 cars being charged at the same time

Reply to  Coach Springer
December 21, 2023 5:56 pm

The analogy I use to help people understand the problem is that of a swimming pool. An olympic-size pool can be filled in seconds. Entirely uncovered; nothing to slow massive amounts of water being added. All you need is that much water available and a way to get it into the pool. Intrinsically almost impossible (maybe an air-tanker?), but the pool is certainly able to be refilled that fast.

Reply to  jtom
December 21, 2023 7:40 pm

perhaps analogous to waste heat removal, for a large vessel to be filled so rapidly with water would require either many times that amount of water to be deliver or a very short time or some elaborate and heavy duty baffling.

December 21, 2023 5:56 am

Expect to see more factories closing up – can’t compete against foreign companies supported by cheap coal powered electricity.

Paul Hurley
December 21, 2023 6:02 am

Audi hits brakes on EV rollout as enthusiasm wanes (paywalled)

Audi will hit the brakes on its rollout of electric car models as consumer enthusiasm wanes in the face of high prices compared to petrol models…

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Paul Hurley
December 22, 2023 2:37 am

Not just high prices. Range anxiety and the charging hassles are probably bigger factors. They are for me.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 22, 2023 12:39 pm

Don’t forget the battery fires (more like explosions), which are almost impossible to extinguish.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Graemethecat
December 23, 2023 3:24 am

Yes, every time we turn around there is another lithium battery fire.

One of Ford’s production lines was shut down over the last couple of days because of a battery fire starting on the line. One fireman said it looked like batteries had caught on fire although he couldn’t say if the batteries were in a vehicle at the time.

December 21, 2023 6:42 am

Don’t be a pioneer and become the road test guineapig-
The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV Left Me Stranded In Rural Virginia (

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  observa
December 21, 2023 7:40 am

My 22 year old truck is looking better and better.

Bryan A
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
December 21, 2023 7:20 pm

At least, after 22 years, the gas tank still holds the same amount of fuel and doesn’t need replacing AND a full tank of gas still takes the car the same distance that it did when it was new

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
December 21, 2023 7:21 pm

Shoot even if you had to replace the fuel tank it only cost about $100 not $14,000-26,000

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bryan A
December 22, 2023 2:42 am

Good point! 🙂

I’m hanging on to my 1992 Chevy Silverado with an iron grip! When this motor wears out (if it ever does) I’ll replace it with a 500hp LS engine.

I’m also hanging on to my 1989 GMC Cargo Van. I don’t think its V-6 engine will ever wear out. And a van comes in real handy sometimes.

I’m sticking with Internal Combustion Engines.

Matthew Bergin
December 21, 2023 6:51 am

I guess that 6 minute charge didn’t work out. I’m so surprised……not.😉

Curious George
Reply to  Matthew Bergin
December 21, 2023 8:38 am

A fireproof battery would be more practical.

More Soylent Green!
December 21, 2023 7:16 am

What is the German word for schadenfreude? I kinda feel like that.

nemo outis
Reply to  More Soylent Green!
December 21, 2023 8:20 am

There is a rare English (near-)synonym for schadenfreude: epicaricacy

And, yes, unfortunately the EV lunacy will continue for a while.

December 21, 2023 7:56 am

Isn’t it ironic that AMTE Power will being taking a charge-off for this fiasco on their balance sheet.

Bryan A
Reply to  ToldYouSo
December 21, 2023 9:45 am

Yes but they will only be granted a 6 minute charge-off

Richard Page
Reply to  ToldYouSo
December 21, 2023 4:30 pm

Right now they’re feeling a bit flat.

Andy Pattullo
December 21, 2023 9:22 am

Is AMTE Gaelic for empty? It seems to have become fashionable for progressive governments to invest billions of other peoples money in projects with essentially no deliverables other than sad headlines. Justin-the-village-idiot Trudeau in Canada is a master of this technique.

December 21, 2023 9:53 am

Eventually they might work out that you cannot create jobs by government diktat!

How quickly people forget. Attempting to do this was exactly what led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disintegration of all of its allies in the Warsaw Pact. Command/control economies always fail. Just ask Canada about how well wage and price controls worked in the 1970s when it was governed by the economic moron Pierre Trudeau as Prime Minister.

December 21, 2023 2:42 pm

More good news. Man can’t live by sugar daddy’s alone.

Richard Page
Reply to  Bob
December 21, 2023 4:31 pm

Although I believe some women have been able to.

Reply to  Richard Page
December 22, 2023 1:34 pm

Not only ‘women’.

Edward Katz
December 21, 2023 6:12 pm

It would be no surprise to see more of these plants going belly-up as EV sales continue to sputter and even decline. The proponents of these types of vehicles have overestimated the demand for them without taking several factors into account; namely, they’re overpriced, there’s a a shortage of public charging infrastructure, their resale value is low, and now they’ve been proved to be far less reliable than their gas/diesel counterparts. So governments that have given massive subsidies to these battery manufacturers could soon find themselves holding the bag after squandering millions of tax dollars.

Reply to  Edward Katz
December 22, 2023 1:35 pm

No, the governments will be blameless.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  sturmudgeon
December 23, 2023 3:27 am

And the taxpayers will be holding the bag.

December 21, 2023 11:14 pm

AMTE said it tested cells that can be charged fully in six minutes in a breakthrough for charging technology”

An EV battery of 100kWh could only be charged in 6 minutes with a 1MW power supply (assuming no losses). The grid won’t cope with that and in almost all instances would only supply a fraction of that amount of power.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkH
December 23, 2023 3:29 am

There you go, getting technical. Don’t you know you are bursting climate alarmists bubbles with this statement? Keep up the good work! 🙂

December 22, 2023 6:29 am

It’s Solyndras all the way down.

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