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Business

Reliance arm buys British battery firm for £100m

FILE PHOTO: Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, arrives with his wife Nita Ambani to address the company’s annual general meeting in Mumbai, India July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

By: Pramod Thomas

A unit of Reliance Industries has acquired British battery maker Faradion for £100 million, the Indian firm said on Friday (31). 

Reliance New Energy Solar has signed definitive agreements to acquire 100 per cent shareholding in Faradion and will invest £25m to accelerate the commercial roll-out, the statement added.

Based in Sheffield and Oxford and with its patented sodium-ion battery technology, Faradion is one of the leading global battery technology companies.

It has a competitively superior, strategic, wide-reaching and extensive IP portfolio, covering several aspects of sodium-ion technology.

Since October 10, the Reliance unit has been acquiring or gaining access to cutting-edge technology that can reduce the cost of renewable energy production, especially in solar energy generation.

It has put $1.2 billion (£0.89bn) in partnerships with REC, NexWafe, Sterling and Wilson, Stiesal and Ambri to acquire the expertise and technology portfolio to start to build a fully integrated end-to-end renewables energy ecosystem through solar, batteries and hydrogen.

“Faradion’s sodium-ion technology provides significant advantages compared to alternative battery technologies, especially lithium-ion and lead-acid,” the statement said. These advantages include no dependence and use of cobalt, lithium, copper or graphite.

“All of this combines to offer a next-generation, high density, safe, sustainable and low-cost energy storage technology solution,” it said. “Reliance will use Faradion’s state-of-the-art technology at its proposed fully integrated energy storage giga-factory as part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex project at Jamnagar, India.”

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, said the acquisition will further strengthen and build upon the firm’s ambition to create one of the most advanced and integrated new energy ecosystems and put India at the forefront of leading battery technologies.

“The sodium-ion technology developed by Faradion provides a globally leading energy storage and battery solution, which is safe, sustainable, provides high energy density and is significantly cost-competitive. In addition, it has wide use applications from mobility to grid-scale storage and back-up power,” he said.

“Most importantly, it utilises sodium, which will secure India’s energy storage requirements for its large renewable energy and fast-growing EV charging market.”

Ambani said Reliance will work with Faradion management and accelerate its plans to commercialise the technology through building integrated and end-to-end Giga scale manufacturing in India.

“We believe this will be one of our many steps that will also enable, accelerate, and secure large scale energy storage requirements for our Indian partners, developing and transforming India’s EV mobility and transport sector,” he added.

James Quinn, CEO of Faradion, said, “Faradion has been one of the first to champion sodium-ion battery technology. Reliance is the perfect partner for supporting Faradion’s growth in the rapidly expanding Indian market and to jointly speed up the transformation of the global energy market”.

“Becoming part of the Reliance group validates the incredible work our team has done in advancing sodium-ion technology. Together with Reliance, Faradion can bring British innovation to India and globally, as the world increasingly looks beyond lithium. We look forward to being part of India’s Net Zero mission.”

Reliance targets solar manufacturing of 100 GW and green hydrogen costs of $1 per kg by 2030. It plans to spend $10bn (£7.4bn) on the new energy business over the next three years towards achieving these targets.

Eastern Eye

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