Source: Business Standard, Mar 18, 2021
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Wednesday entered into a collaboration with Phinergy, an Israeli start-up company specialising in hybrid lithium-ion and aluminium-air/zinc-air battery systems, to form IOC Phinergy Private Limited.
According to a press release, the collaboration took place in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Israel Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz.
The joint venture will manufacture Aluminum-Air systems in India to boost India’s flagship programme – “Make in India” and recycle used Aluminum to strengthen India’s energy security.
In a significant boost to India’s pursuit of e-mobility, two of the leading Automotive manufacturers in India- Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the newly incorporated JV IOC Phinergy Limited, said the release.
Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan said that the fruition of the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, inter alia, resulted in this Joint Venture being launched today. He said that the joint venture will help India in its journey towards clean, sustainable, affordable, safe, and long-lasting energy options and facilitate much faster adoption of e-Vehicles in the country.
“Our energy sector will be growth-centric, industry-friendly, and environment conscious. We have the onerous task of ensuring ample access to energy to improve the lives of Indians coupled with the need to have a smaller carbon footprint. In this scenario, this technology to develop indigenous batteries using locally available Aluminum fits into the energy vision of India as espoused by Prime Minister Modi, wherein he has given a clear call for increasing the contribution of electricity to decarbonise mobility,” he said.
The minister further said that based on domestically available Aluminum, the joint venture plans to manufacture Aluminum-Air systems in India, which will provide a boost to India’s flagship programme – Make in India and at the same time, recycling of used Aluminum will help India in becoming “Aatmanirbhar” for energy requirements.
He expressed the happiness that apart from Maruti Suzuki, leading automobile industry representatives such as Ashok Leyland and Mahindra Electric are part of the validation of the technology, while urging the Indian industry, primarily the automotive manufacturers, to extend all necessary support to the joint venture for commercializing the Aluminum-Air technology.
Steinitz also lauded the initiative, saying that this is indicative of increasingly close cooperation between the two countries.
Tarun Kapoor, Secretary, MoP & NG, said that India’s energy demand is going to increase at a faster pace compared to the world, and the country is looking for a breakthrough in storage technology-batteries that are compact, cheaper, lighter and have higher energy density. He described today’s initiative as pathbreaking, according to the release.
“With one of the most extensive customer interfaces in the country, IndianOil has been working continuously to improve customer’s experience and provide solutions for all kinds of energy needs. The JV between IndianOil and Phinergy for commercializing Aluminum-Air technology is an important initiative towards technology-driven Energy Transition. Al-Air technology will help us overcome most of the current challenges for e-Vehicles and address most of the potential customers’ pain-points, including range anxiety, higher cost of purchase, and safety issues. This technology will also boost India’s existing aluminium industry and help the nation become Self-reliant in the energy field and promote the ‘Make in India’ drive,” said IndianOil chairman SM Vaidya. Dr SSV Ramakumar, Director (R & D) spoke about the game the changing technology of metal-air battery which would define a new e-mobility paradigm in the Indian context.