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5th Aug 2022

Semiconductor manufacturers are rejoicing in the US as the long-awaited legislation to support the industry is finally passed. The bill, which has yet to be signed, will unlock billions of dollars for investment in new chip factories and research and development.

 

This is a huge boon to the industry, as it will help to reverse the decline in the US's share of global chip manufacturing. The money will be distributed in the form of grants, with $39bn set aside for new fabs and $11bn for R&D. This is good news for companies like Intel, TSMC, and Samsung who are planning on building new chip factories in the US.

 

These plants are expensive, costing billions of dollars each, so the financial support from Washington is much needed.

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The global shipping giant Maersk is warning that the chaos in global supply chains is going to continue for months. They say that strong market conditions within the ocean freight industry- is driving sky-high container rates but will not ease until late 2022.

 

This is all due to the congestion in global supply chains, a further fall out of the pandemic. While analysts are impressed with the company's current performance, there is concern about a possible slowdown as supply chain disruptions ease.

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bp plans to invest up to £50 million in a new electric vehicle battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in the UK.

This investment is in addition to bp's previously announced intention to invest up to £18 billion in the UK's energy system by the end of 2030, and will help advance the development of leading fluid technologies and engineering for hybrid and fully battery-electric vehicles.

 

The new facilities will also support the technology, engineering, and science roles housed at bp's existing global headquarters for its Castrol business.

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Volvo Group has initiated the process of establishing a large-scale production plant for battery cells in Sweden.

 

The battery cells will be specifically designed for commercial vehicle applications, supporting the global roll-out of electric trucks, buses, construction equipment and electric drivelines for different applications. The group plans to increase capacity and reach large-scale series production gradually by 2030.

The proposed site in the municipality of Mariestad is situated close to the Volvo Group’s current main powertrain plant in Skövde and will benefit from the region’s existing industrial and logistics infrastructure. Interestingly, the group’s R&D centres and headquarters in Gothenburg are two hours away from the site.

The UK’s flagship battery gigafactory Britishvolt has selected Chinese synthetic graphite producer BTR to provide graphite and silicon oxide for anode materials.

The two companies signed an initial agreement today for anode materials to be used at selected phases of Britishvolt’s manufacturing processes. Britishvolt chose BTR because of its access to clean, renewable hydro-electric power and its plans to build a manufacturing footprint in Europe, it said.

Britishvolt has emphasised close supply chains and renewable power throughout its development, choosing a site near Blythe, Northumberland, to maximise access to renewable energy.

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