Reliance to buy battery tech company Faradion for £100 million

New Delhi: Ltd (RIL) will acquire British firm Faradion Ltd for an enterprise value of £100 million that will give it access to high density, sustainable and cost-competitive battery technology, the company said in a statement on Friday.
Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIL, will acquire all of Faradion and will invest a further £25 million as growth capital to accelerate the commercial rollout of the UK firm’s battery technology. Faradion’s patented sodium-ion battery technology provides significant advantages over alternative battery technologies, especially lithium-ion and lead-acid, RIL said.

“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 costcompetitive,” said RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani.

“It has wide use applications from mobility to grid-scale storage and back-up power,” he said.
Faradion’s acquisition is part of a series of investments by RIL this year to build a renewable energy ecosystem in India. In the past few months, RIL has invested in Norway-based solar cells maker REC Solar Holdings, EPC firm Sterling & Wilson Solar Ltd, Germany-based solar wafers tech firm NexWafe and US-based energy storage company Ambri Inc.

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RIL said last June it plans to invest Rs 75,000 crore to build its clean energy business. It will use Faradion’s technology at its proposed fully integrated energy storage giga factory, which is part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex project at Jamnagar.
“Together with Reliance, Faradion can bring British innovation to India and globally, as the world increasingly looks beyond lithium,” said James Quinn, CEO of Faradion.

Advances in lithium-ion battery technology in recent years have made it the most reliable source of energy storage, helping the growth of gadgets and vehicles powered by it.

But the concentration of resources needed to build lithium-ion batteries in just a few countries has prompted investors to back alternative battery chemistries as well. Sodium-ion technology is one such alternative.

Indian Oil, the country’s largest refiner, is working on commercialising aluminium-air battery technology in a joint venture with Israel’s Phinergy.

Faradion was founded by Chris Wright, Jerry Barker and Ashwin Kumaraswamy in 2010 to develop sodium-ion technology and bring it to market, with funds from Mercia Asset Management. RIL’s clean energy business plan involves an investment of Rs 60,000 core in four giga factories that will manufacture and fully integrate all the critical components for the business, and Rs 15,000 crore on building value chains, partnerships and future technologies.

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