Reliance New Energy, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has signed pacts to acquire the assets of cobalt-free lithium battery technology and manufacturing company Lithium Werks.

The deal, valued at $61 million, includes funding for future growth and is expected to complete by June 2022, RIL said in an exchange filing.

The assets include the entire patent portfolio of Lithium Werks, manufacturing facility in China, key business contracts and hiring of existing employees as a going concern.

The new entity will issue shares to the founders and existing employees at closing and after such issuance Reliance New Energy will hold 85.8% of the company, the statement said.

The acquisition comes two months after Reliance New Energy signed definitive agreements to acquire UK-based Faradion for ₹1,005 crore enterprise value.

The oil-to-telecom conglomerate is in the process of investing ₹75,000 crore to build 100 giga watt (GW) renewable capacity. Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), plans to complete ₹60,000 crore investment by 2024 to build one of the largest integrated renewable energy manufacturing facilities in the world.

Reliance said it plans to be leverage the experience of senior management teams, together with the technology and know-how gained through acquisition of Faradion and Lithium Werks, to establish an end-to-end battery ecosystem.

This will allow Reliance to deliver not only manufacturing at large scale certain key supply chain materials, such as cathode, anode, electrolyte, but also a cell manufacturing facility including IOT and AI capabilities, giving Reliance the flexibility to produce batteries and battery module systems consisting of different chemistries for various applications across energy storage and mobility.

“LFP is fast gaining as one of the leading cell chemistries due to its cobalt and nickel free batteries, low cost and longer life compared to NMC (nickel, manganese and cobalt) and other chemistries,” Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director at RIL, said in a statement. “Lithium Werks is one of the leading LFP cell manufacturing companies globally and has a vast patent portfolio and a management team which brings tremendous experience of innovation across LFP value chain.”

“Along with Faradion, Lithium Werks will enable us to accelerate our vision of establishing India at the core of developments in global battery chemistries and help us provide a secure, safe and high-performance supply chain to the large and growing Indian EV and Energy Storage markets,” Ambani said.

Founded in 2018 in the Netherlands, Lithium Werks currently operates in the US, Europe and China.

“This deal means increased resources and expanded global reach, while leveraging our experienced team and IP portfolio and providing scale and momentum to help drive our product innovation, capacity expansion and accelerate our clean energy strategy,” said Joe Fisher, co-founder and CEO of Lithium Werks.

Reliance is accelerating global partnerships--especially in technologies to manufacture green hydrogen and storage batteries and photovoltaic cells--before beginning construction of giga factories.

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