A wholly owned unit of India's Reliance Industries is to buy the UK’s Faradion, a sodium-ion battery technology firm, for an enterprise value of £100 million ($135m), as billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate accelerates its push into renewable energy.
Reliance New Energy Solar, which has signed definitive agreements to acquire 100 per cent of Faradion, will also be investing £25m in company – which is based in northern English city Sheffield and Oxford in the south-east – to expedite the commercial roll out, according to an exchange filing on Friday.
“Faradion’s sodium-ion technology provides significant advantages compared to alternative battery technologies,” Reliance said in the filing, calling it low cost, scalable and sustainable.
There is “no dependence” on cobalt, lithium, copper or graphite, it added.
The transaction marks the sixth green deal for the retail-to-refining conglomerate that has committed to invest $10 billion in sustainable energy initiatives over three years.
Mr Ambani, Asia’s richest man, wants to transform Reliance, which still gets nearly 60 per cent of its revenue from fossil fuel-related businesses, and aims to make it carbon net zero by 2035.
Reliance shares rose as much as 0.9 per cent on Friday in Mumbai during trading. The stock has advanced about 19 per cent this year.
Reliance will use this newly acquired technology at its proposed energy storage giga-factory in Jamnagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat where it operates the world’s largest refining complex.
Mr Ambani plans to build four giga-factories for making electrolysers for producing green hydrogen, solar modules, fuel cells and storage batteries.
The Faradion acquisition will “put India at the forefront of leading battery technologies", Mr Ambani said in a statement.
“Most importantly, it utilises sodium, which will secure India’s energy storage requirements for its large renewable energy and fast-growing EV charging market.”
India has a target of creating 450 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030 and turn net carbon zero by 2070.