Reliance buys assets of battery maker Lithium Werks in clean energy, transport push

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The logo of Reliance Industries is pictured in a stall at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show at Gandhinagar, India, January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Amit Dave

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NEW DELHI, March 15 (Reuters) - Indian refining giant Reliance Industries (RELI.NS) has acquired the assets of battery maker Lithium Werks for $61 million, its second such deal in less than three months, as it makes a bigger push towards clean energy and transport.

Reliance's investment in Lithium Werks, which manufactures lithium iron phosphate batteries that are mainly used in electric vehicles (EVs), includes funding for future growth, the company said late on Monday.

The assets, acquired through its subsidiary Reliance New Energy, include Lithium Werks' portfolio of about 219 patents, a manufacturing facility in China, key business contracts and existing employees, it said.

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The deal comes as Reliance looks to cut dependence on its mainstay oil-to-chemicals business, with plans to invest $10 billion in clean energy projects to boost its green credentials and meet its goal of net zero carbon by 2035. read more

Reliance agreed in December to buy Faradion, a UK-based sodium-ion battery company, for an enterprise value of 100 million pounds ($130 million). The two companies will give Reliance access to technology that will be key in its plan to manufacture batteries and battery systems in India. read more

"Along with Faradion, Lithium Werks will enable us to accelerate our vision of establishing India at the core of developments in global battery chemistries," Reliance's owner, billionaire Mukesh Ambani said in the statement.

It will allow Reliance to provide "a high-performance supply chain" to the growing Indian EV and energy storage markets, he added.

India is offering incentives of up to $6 billion to companies to build EVs and batteries locally as the government looks to establish a domestic supply chain for clean transport and renewable energy. read more

($1 = 0.7668 pounds)

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Reporting by Aditi Shah; editing by Richard Pullin

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