Japanese Ambassador to the UK, Hayashi Hajime, visited global battery manufacturer GS Yuasa’s factory in Ebbw Vale on Friday 9 July as part of an official two-day visit to Wales to celebrate the strong connections between the two countries.
The ambassador also toured a new state-of-the-art lithium-ion module assembly line which has been installed as part of a recently announced multi-million-pound investment by GS Yuasa.
The investment, which is supported by up to £2.5m of Welsh Government funding, will safeguard the long-term future of the plant, creating over 100 new jobs as well as allowing for the installation of new energy efficient production equipment to increase manufacturing capacity.
There are over 60 Japanese companies operating in Wales so we were understandably pleased that Ambassador Hajime and the Welsh government selected us to be part of this momentous visit – Mr Hajime’s first official one to the country!
The visit comes at an exciting time for us as we celebrate 40 years of battery production at Ebbw Vale, alongside a multi-million-pound investment in the plant.”
Shaun Gardner, Managing Director of GS Yuasa Battery Manufacturing UK Ltd, added: “Our multi-million-pound investment reiterates our continued commitment to manufacturing in Wales, creating over 100 new jobs along with reducing carbon emissions and helping to build a more sustainable society.
We showed the Ambassador how our highly-skilled workforce produces industry leading Yuasa lead-acid industrial batteries, as well as our new Lithium-ion module production line which is one of the first we have outside of Japan.”
Their Ebbw Vale factory manufactures VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) standby batteries that are predominantly used in Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems. The Yuasa batteries in these systems support facilities including banks, retailers, online grocers, supermarket chains, sports stadiums and telecom infrastructure across Europe.
During the coronavirus pandemic these batteries also supplied power to the NHS Nightingale hospitals and other key medical projects.
GS YUASA Battery Germany GmbH, founded in 1983 as YUASA Battery (Europe) GmbH, is based in Krefeld and serves 15 countries within Europe from there.