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17 Mar Reliance Industries Acquires Cobalt-free Battery Producer Lithium Werks
Indian refining giant Reliance Industries [RELIANCE:US] has acquired Dutch battery producer Lithium Werks for USD61m through its green business arm Reliance New Energy, as reported by Reuters on March 15. Lithium Werks produces high-performance lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries that are cobalt-free. The transaction will include Lithium Werk’s entire patent portfolio, a manufacturing facility in China, key business contacts, and existing employees. Citing Reliance Industries Chairman Ambani, LFP batteries have advantages of low manufacturing costs and longer life over other chemistry cells. The deal is expected to be completed by June 2022.
This was part of Reliance Industries’ plan to invest INR750bn (USD9.87bn) in clean energy businesses from 2022 to 2024 for the realization of the company’s carbon neutrality by 2035. Last December, Reliance also bought UK sodium-ion battery producer Faradion with USD130m. The two acquisitions provided Reliance Industries with key technologies for manufacturing batteries and battery systems. Reliance aims to build massive battery production facilities in India, a fast-growing market for electric vehicles (EV) and fuel cells. The firm could also benefit from India’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, which includes incentives worth USD6bn for companies that build EVs and advanced chemistry cells (ACCs) locally. India is aiming to have 30% of new cars and 40% of new two-wheelers sold to be electric by 2030.