Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly owned subsidiary of energy-to-telecom behemoth Reliance Industries Ltd, today (Dec 31) announced that it has signed definitive agreements to acquire 100% shareholding in Faradion Limited, a leading non-aqueous sodium-ion cell technology provider, at an an enterprise value of $134.9 million
Reliance also said that it will invest $134.9 million as growth capital to accelerate commercial roll out of Faradion's sodium-ion cell technology.
Based out of Sheffield and Oxford in UK 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.
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 in Jamnagar, the Mukesh Ambani-led firm said.
Due to increasingly widespread adoption of electric vehicles, car and battery manufacturers across the world are seeking new alternatives to the current three main technologies -- nickel-cobalt-aluminium, nickel-cobalt-manganese and lithium iron phosphate batteries.
Sodium-ion batteries is being explored as an alternative in the background of huge surge in demand for lithium, cobalt and nickel, which are the key ingredients used in current batteries.
About 70% of the world’s lithium resources are concentrated in South America, while 80% of China’s lithium supply depends on imports. In order to solve the problem, some enterprises have turned their attention to sodium batteries.
Another battery ingredient Cobalt is considered the highest material supply chain risk for electric vehicles (EVs) in the short and medium term.
The world's largest battery maker, China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., or CATL, introduced its sodium-ion battery in July. The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced the following month that it would push for the development, standardisation and commercialisation of this type of power-pack, which would be a cheaper, faster-charging, as well as a safer alternative to the current crop, which is still plagued by a slew of issues, including faulty units catching fire.
Even though sodium-ion batteries were being researched in the 1970s, a more promising option, known as a lithium-ion battery, swiftly surpassed them in popularity. Because of their extensive use, sodium-based ones didn't find many takers and any further development was put on hold.
Carmakers and battery makers are focusing on lowering prices, which has always been a challenge. While lithium-ion batteries are one of the most important breakthroughs in the field of energy storage, they are increasingly confronted with concerns such as material cost and availability, as well as safety.
Reliance has now made a string of acquisition in new energy space
In October this year, RNESL announced that it has acquired 100% shareholding of REC Solar Holdings AS (REC Group) from China National Bluestar (Group) Co Ltd., for an Enterprise Value of $ 771 million.
Headquartered in Norway, REC Group is a leading solar energy company that manufactures solar cells and panels for solar power. The 25-year-old company has three manufacturing facilities – two in Norway for making solar grade polysilicon and one in Singapore making PV cells and modules.
Post the acquisition, Reliance said that it was planning to leverage RCE's technology in their fully integrated, metallic Silicon to photovoltaic panel manufacturing giga factory at Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex located at Jamnagar. Reliance will initially start with 4 GW per annum capacity and eventually growing to 10 GW per annum.
In October, Reliance also announced its acquisition of 40 per cent stake in Sterling and Wilson Solar, a Shapoorji Pallonji group.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!