TWENTY jobs have been saved in Thurso after a deal was struck to sell the business and assets of battery cell manufacturer AMTE Power to a company based in the Netherlands.

AMTE Power, which develops and manufactures lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery cells for specialist markets, announced its intention to call in administrators in December following an unsuccessful attempt to raise rescue funding amid mounting financial pressures. It had been seeking cash to support the continuing development of its battery cell technology.

Richard Bloomfield, Ian Corfield, and Michelle Elliot of restructuring specialist FRP Advisory were appointed as administrators to the company on January 19. This evening FRP announced that they had completed the sale of the business and assets of AMTE Power's battery cell manufacture and production business in Thurso to LionVolt.

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LionVolt is a subsidiary of LionVolt BV, an Eindhoven-based a battery innovator that develops 3D solid-state batteries that aim to deliver high performance, fast charging, safety and sustainability.

In a statement this evening, the administrators said the transaction with LionVolt enables the battery production facility at Thurso to be repurposed for producing LionVolt’s innovative batteries and includes the transfer of 20 jobs based in the town. However, the remaining 15 staff at Milton, England, have been made redundant.

Mr Bloomfield, director at FRP and joint administrator of AMTE Power, said: “The acquisition by LionVolt presented the best opportunity to secure jobs and fulfil our statutory duties to creditors. The transaction follows an exhaustive sales process and search for new investment. Critically, it preserves a large number of jobs and provides a continuation of battery cell manufacturing in Scotland. We wish the team at LionVolt all the best for the future.

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“We are working with the impacted staff at the AMTE Power site in Milton and will support them in their claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.”

AMTE’s slide into administration appeared to have dealt a blow to hopes that Scotland could become a hub for battery manufacturing. It had been reported that the company had planned to build a £190 million gigafactory in Dundee which would create 215 jobs locally as well as 800 in its supply chain.