On Wednesday, India’s leading oil and gas giant Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) announced its collaboration with Phinergy, an Israeli start-up engaged in the development of hybrid lithium-ion and aluminium-air or zinc-air batteries, to form IOC Phinergy Private Limited. The event took place in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Israel Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz.
As per the press release, the joint venture (JV) will be engaged in the production of Aluminum-Air systems in India and recycle the Aluminum already been used. The strategic move is aimed at catalysing the government’s "Make in India" move and strengthen its energy security. In addition, the release also mentioned that considering the country’s strong drift towards e-mobility, two of the leading Indian automotive giants-Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland presented Letter of Intent (LOI) to team up with the newly formed JV company IOC Phinergy Limited.
Expressing his views on the move, Pradhan underlined that the country’s energy sector is demanding strong growth. In addition, the Industry leaders would need to keep in mind the environment-related challenges that the world is facing. The deal will propel indigenous development of the batteries using locally available Aluminum and would eventually cut India’s carbon footprint. This is strongly complementing PM Narendra Modi’s vision of increasing the contribution of electricity in the mobility sector.
While many are viewing the JV between Indian Oil and Phinergy as an important step to strengthen close cooperation between the two countries, the commercialization of Aluminum-Air technology is a key stepping stone to India’s smooth Energy Transition. Al-Air technology will not only enable the industry to overcome several shortcomings related to e-Vehicles such as higher cost of purchase, and safety-related concerns issues but will also contribute massively to strengthening India's existing Al industry and boost its self-sufficiency in the energy field.