From: Mercom India

India-based specialty chemical company Himadri has announced an investment of AU$10.32 million (~$7 million) in Australian startup Sicona Battery Technologies to produce high-quality anode materials.

The investment aims to accelerate product and technology development for Sicona while expediting the commercial deployment of the lithium-ion battery.

The company Himadri will also use the investment to further the company’s explorations in innovative technologies in the battery material segment.

Himadri is involved in the production of anode materials for lithium-ion batteries in India. The company develops raw materials for the li-ion battery value chain.

It has eight zero-liquid discharge manufacturing units and utilizes in-house green power to meet over 90% of its energy needs.

Based in Sydney, Sicona specializes in high-capacity silicon anode technology for lithium-ion batteries and has developed next-generation materials used in the anodes of these batteries that enable electric mobility and storage of renewable energy.

The company claims its anode materials can deliver over 50% higher cell energy density than the largely used lithium-ion batteries.

Australia houses abundant minerals critical to renewable energy technologies and is the leading producer of unprocessed lithium. The country produces 79% of the world’s hard rock lithium, with its mineral exports projected to reach $16 billion in 2023.

Chairman and Managing Director of Himadri Speciality Chemical Anurag Choudhary said, “Sicona’s ground-breaking research and cost-effective & highly scalable approach to silicon anode manufacturing perfectly complements our strategic objectives.”

Sicona’s Founder and CEO, Christiaan Jordaan, commented, “Our silicon metal-based technology provides our customers the confidence that we can deliver a silicon-carbon anode material at a capital intensity and $/kg price which is feasible for mass-automotive market adoption. Himadri has a multi-decade track record of manufacturing materials at scale, and their expertise and inputs will be a major asset to us in the next phases of our growth plans. Himadri’s current strength in synthetic anode materials has strong synergies with our silicon anode technology.”

Earlier this year, the Australian government set a target to increase the share of electric vehicles in new light vehicle sales to 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2035 to transition to a decarbonized transport system.