Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries has struck a deal to acquire UK battery technology provider Faradion for £100 million ($135 million).

Reliance revealed Friday it had signed definitive agreements to acquire a 100% shareholding in the Sheffield-based company, while adding it would also invest £25 million as growth capital to accelerate the commercial roll-out of Faradion’s patented sodium-ion battery technology.

“This will further strengthen and build upon our ambition to create one of the most advanced and integrated New Energy ecosystems and put India at the forefront of leading battery technologies,” said Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani.

“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 cost competitive.

“In addition, it has wide use applications from mobility to grid scale storage and back-up power.”

Faradion chief executive James Quinn added that Reliance was the perfect partner for the company to support its growth in the rapidly expanding Indian market.

“Becoming part of the Reliance group validates the incredible work our team has done in advancing sodium-ion technology,” he said.

“Together with Reliance, Faradion can bring British innovation to India and globally, as the world increasingly looks beyond lithium. We look forward to being part of India’s Net Zero mission.”

Advantages over other battery tech

Reliance claims Faradion’s battery technology provides a number of advantages over alternative battery technologies, especially lithium-ion and lead acid.

It noted that Faradion’s sodium-ion technology was not dependent on cobalt, lithium, copper or graphite, while highlighting that sodium is the sixth most abundant element on the planet.

The Indian company also claims the cost of ownership of Faradion’s battery technology is already comparable with that of lead-acid batteries, while stating there was also the potential for further cost reductions.

Reliance also stated that the energy density of Faradion’s batteries is on par with lithium-ion phosphate, while boasting a wider operating temperature range of minus 30 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius.

“We will work with Faradion management and accelerate its plans to commercialise the technology through building integrated and end-to-end giga scale manufacturing in India,” Ambani said.

“We believe this will be one of our many steps that will also enable, accelerate, and secure large scale energy storage requirements for our Indian partners developing and transforming India’s EV mobility and transport sector.”

Reliance intends to utilise the sodium-ion battery technology at its proposed fully integrated energy storage giga-factory, which will form part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex project at Jamnagar, India.

Ambani, who is India’s richest man, unveiled an ambitious plan in June this year for Reliance to invest $10.1 billion in clean energy as it targets net zero emissions by 2035.

The Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex will be situated on a 5000-acre site and will produce photovoltaics modules, batteries, hydrogen electrolysers and fuel cells.