Global battery manufacturer GS Yuasa is creating 105 new jobs and protecting a further 360 positions at its production plant in Ebbw Vale thanks to £2.5m support from Welsh Government.
The company is one of the world’s leading global manufacturers of Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) and Lithium-ion batteries. The funding will help the company increase production volumes and upgrade processes so they are more energy efficient.
GS Yuasa is a market leader for a wide range of vehicle and industrial batteries, with applications spanning everything from cars and caravans to security and telecom.
Their Ebbw Vale factory manufactures VRLA standby batteries that are predominantly used in Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems and other industrial markets. During the coronavirus pandemic these batteries also supplied power to the NHS Nightingale hospitals and other key medical projects.
A new assembly line will be installed to produce new Lithium-ion battery modules, with semi-automation of key processes also introduced at the firm’s base in Rassau Industrial Estate.
The support, which comes from Welsh Government’s Economic Futures Fund, will be key in creating new employment opportunities and safeguarding the long-term future of the site.
Andrew Taylor, Managing Director and CEO of GS Yuasa Battery Europe Ltd, said: “This considerable investment is great news for the continued development and growth of our industrial battery business across Europe. Our manufacturing facility in Ebbw Vale produces Europe’s market leading range of industrial VRLA batteries with a pedigree of high performance, reliability and quality established over the past 40 years.
“It will help us to safeguard our current workforce of over 360 employees and will also assist us in creating over 100 new local jobs as we expand operations over the next three to five years.
“Our ambitious plans include the installation of new energy efficient production equipment to increase manufacturing capacity, renewable energy sources and the establishment of an assembly and R&D facility for state-of-the-art Lithium-ion battery modules. These will all contribute to GS Yuasa’s global policy of reducing carbon emissions and helping to build a more sustainable society.”
Since 1981 GS Yuasa is has been a key employer in Blaenau Gwent, and has been joined by a growing number of other battery related companies, including the likes of Envirowales, PMB Battery and Deragallera.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “GS Yuasa is a hugely important employer in Ebbw Vale and news the business is investing in its future there is to be warmly welcomed.
“I’m delighted we are supporting the company’s plans and that so many quality employment opportunities will be created.
“Our Economic Futures Fund continues to be crucial in supporting businesses right across Wales and will be key in helping the likes of GS Yuasa thrive post-pandemic. This will be invaluable as the company prepares to meet future challenges and opportunities.
“In what are extremely difficult economic times this funding injection will also provide a real boost to residents and our ambitious but achievable Tech Valleys vision for stimulating growth across the heads of the valleys. Our Tech Valleys programme has research and development, innovation and decarbonisation at its heart, so the cutting-edge work GS Yuasa is doing is a fantastic example of that in practice.
“Today’s announcement also supports the vision of our Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission to ensure our economy is more prosperous, fair and green than ever before.”