Indian Oil Phinergy Private Ltd, a newly formed joint venture between Israeli company Phinergy and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, plans to set up a plant to manufacture aluminium air batteries in India that will source raw materials domestically.

“The JV plans to manufacture aluminium air systems in India and provide a boost to India’s flagship ‘Make in India’ programme. At the same time, recycling of aluminium will help India in becoming ‘ atmanirbhar ’ for energy requirements,” Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said at the new company’s inauguration event on Wednesday.

The joint venture ownership will be shared evenly by the two parent companies. Indian Oil also owns a minority stake in Phinergy.

“In India, we also want batteries for which the material is available locally. This aluminium air battery appears to be the answer,” said Tarun Kapoor, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

The JV on Wednesday signed letters of intent with Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland as their indication for commercial application of the batteries. “Apart from Maruti Suzuki, leading automobile industry representatives such as Ashok Leyland and Mahindra Electric are part of the validation of the technology,” Pradhan said.

The location and production capacity of the manufacturing unit will be decided after the automakers express a specific demand upon assessing the technology more deeply, which should take around a year, a senior Indian Oil official told BusinessLine .

Aluminium air batteries produce electricity from the oxidation of aluminium. They have high-energy density and do not require charging infrastructure, and are seen as a potential fuel source for long-haul electric transport.