He said: “We have managed to secure enough funding to get us all the way through to quarter one, quarter two next year, so we will be ready to put spades in the ground. We will also be listed by then and the capital markets will be very keen on this project. I am currently discussing [the float] with several different investment banks.”

With the West committing to net-zero carbon goals, fears are growing over the dependence on China to build batteries for cars and buses.

But while more than 55pc of production is in China, manufacturers are springing up in Europe, which now has roughly a fifth of the global market.

Tesla, which builds batteries in the US and China, snubbed the UK in favour of building its first European gigafactory on the outskirts of Berlin.

Northvolt, headquartered in Stockholm, is targeting four gigafactories across Europe. One site in Sweden is up and running and a second has been identified in Germany. The company is considering a number of other locations, including France and the UK.

A Northvolt spokesman said: “The million-dollar question is whether the market for battery production in Europe will be run by local businesses or end up being akin to a series of South Korean and Chinese satellite factories.”


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