Reliance Buys Sodium Ion Battery Firm, Faradion Limited in £100 Million Deal

Highlights :

  • The acquisition gives Reliance control over the tech to manufacture at its Gigaplex in Jamnagar.
  • Sodium Ion technology, considered a lower cost option to Lithium Ion is still to be tested at scale.
Reliance Buys Sodium Ion Battery Firm, Faradion Limited in £100 Million Deal

In a regulatory filing on December 30, Reliance Industries Limited has announced that its solar subsidiary, Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL), will buy UK based sodium ion battery technology provider Faradion Ltd for 100 million pounds including debt. Sodium Ion batteries have been considered a solid prospect for lower storage costs. Or as Faradion’s self description goes, ‘ Our patented chemistry delivers a high performance, safe and cost-effective battery solution for key applications, such as transportation, storage, back-up power and energy in remote locations. Providing lithium-ion performance at lead-acid prices’.

In the regulatory filing, the company said “Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Reliance Industries, has entered into an agreement with Faradion Limited (Faradion) and its shareholders for acquiring 100% of the equity shares of Faradion through secondary transactions for a total value of GBP 94.42Mn based on an enterprise value of GBP 100Mn.”

“88.92% of the equity shares of Faradion for an aggregate consideration of GBP 83.97Mn at closing which is expected in early January 2022. 11.08% of the equity shares of Faradion within 3 years from closing for an aggregate consideration of up to GBP 10.45Mn.”

RNESL has also agreed to subscribe to new equity shares of Faradion for an aggregate consideration of GBP 31.59 million, of which GBP 25 million is as growth capital for accelerating commercial roll out and the balance for repayment of debt and other fees, it said.

Faradion has been a leading proponent of sodium ion battery technology,  with multiple IP’s to its name in the space. For Reliance, the Faradion investment follows a slightly larger investment it has already made in Ambri, a liquid metal storage battery firm where it has invested $144 million back in August. In the case of Ambri too, Reliance has retained the rights to sell the battery in the South Asia market.

With storage becoming an increasingly critical part of renewable energy deployment, it is interesting to see Reliance focus on non Lithium ion technologies so far, clearly favouring long duration stationary storage over EV storage, seemingly.

Faradion was started in 2011, by Dr Jerry Barker, Dr Chris Wright and Ashwin Kumaraswamy, to develop and bring to market sodium-ion technology. It has developed a strategic, wide-reaching and extensive IP portfolio, comprising 21 patent families covering Na-ion technology.

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