Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) aims to start production of battery packs by 2023 and scale up to a fully integrated 5 Gigawatt hour (GWh) annual cell-to-pack manufacturing facility by 2024, chairman Mukesh Ambani said at the conglomerate’s 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on August 29. Subsequently, it will further scale up to 50 GWh annual capacity by 2027.
As a part of RIL's ambition to create an end-to-end battery ecosystem, the company plans to set up a gigafactory that will start making battery packs from next year. The facility will be a part of its Dhirubhai Green Energy Giga Complex at Jamnagar, in Gujarat.
“Our deep understanding and knowledge of chemistry and materials will add to our competitive advantage in setting up our world-scale battery manufacturing facility,’’ Ambani said.
RIL will be involved in the production of the entire supply chain in the space — from battery materials to cell manufacturing, to packs and battery management systems (BMS)—to deliver "safe and reliable" batteries with high energy density and fast charging capabilities.
Last year, Reliance announced an investment of Rs 75,000 crore to be deployed towards its new energy business over the next three years.
“As I talked about it last year, we see batteries as an integral part of long-duration energy storage for grid-scale renewable energy. They are also critical to promote green mobility and stationary applications for residential and commercial use,” he added.
In December 2021, Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIL took over UK-based Faradion, a leading battery company, for $135 million (GBP 100 million).
RNESL announced in August 2021 that it will invest $50 million in US-based Ambri Inc. There was also buzz that Reliance was in discussions with the US energy storage firm for an exclusive collaboration for a large-scale battery manufacturing facility in India.
In March 2022, RNESL signed an agreement to acquire the assets of Lithium Werks BV for $ 61 million, including funding for future growth. Lithium Werks is a cobalt-free lithium battery technology and manufacturing company, with operations in the US, Europe, and China, and customers worldwide.
“We have formed strategic partnerships with Lithium Werks, Faradion and Ambri, each of them an industry disruptor with superior chemistry, leading to better performance. And most importantly, we have little or no dependence on noble metals, ensuring supply security,’’ Ambani said.
"With a 30-plus-year history of battery production and innovation, Lithium Werks provides an integrated portfolio of high-performance Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) solutions. Faradion, with its globally leading sodium-ion battery chemistry, provides us with a further opportunity to disrupt battery markets."Ambri is a world leader in long-duration energy storage solutions based on liquid metal technology, built for grid applications, with a 20-plus year lifespan and minimal fade,’’ RIL chairman added.