Battery material specialists Nexeon has entered into a strategic manufacturing partnership with South Korean semiconductor producer SKC.
It will now amp up its production of silicon anodes, after it received a hefty $80m boost from an international consortium of investors including SKC, SJL Partners (SJL), BNW Investment (BNW), and Kiwoom Private Equity (Kiwoom).
The same group of companies formerly invested $33m in the Abingdon-based company last November.
Silicon anodes are considered a key component in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, boosting the range of cars and also increasing charging speeds.
The latest arrangement is the next step in Nexeon’s plans to accelerate its supply of silicon anode materials at volume in order to meet the rapidly increasing demands from blue-chip customers in automotive and consumer electronics industries across Europe, North America, and Asia.
Alongside semi-conductors, SKC also focuses on rechargeable batteries and eco-friendly materials, with a market capitalisation of $5bn.
Commenting on the latest arrangement, Nexeon chief executive Dr Scott Brown said: “This significant investment clearly validates the tremendous technical and commercial progress we have made, and we look forward to working with our new partners to deliver our materials in volume to consumer electronics and EV customers alike.”
Steve Lim, chairman and managing partner of SJL added: “Batteries are the key technology of our time and present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform transportation and positively impact the environment. Nexeon’s silicon materials are a key enabler in the delivery of better batteries and we are extremely excited about this investment.”
HSBC acted as advisor for Nexeon’s funding and partnership agreement.
The deal is a further boost for the UK’s electric vehicle market, with Nissan recently investing heavily in its Sunderland plant as it expands its offering to customers.