Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL), an arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited, has raised a stake in Germany-based silicon wafer manufacturer NexWafe GmbH as a strategic lead investor.
The company led NexWafe’s EURO 39 million Series C financing round with an investment of EURO 25 million in phase one.
“Reliance New Energy Solar Limited will acquire 86,887 series C preferred shares of the face value of EURO 1 each of NexWafe at a price of EURO 287.73 per share aggregating to EURO 25 million. It will also be issued 36,201 warrants, which are exercisable for a consideration of EURO 1 per warrant subject to achievement of agreed milestones. The transaction is proposed to be completed by end of October 2021,” Reliance New Energy Solar stated in a BSE filing.
NexWafe claims its technology can produce ultrathin monocrystalline solar wafers while ensuring cost- and energy-efficiency. It will use the investment by Reliance to accelerate its proprietary wafer technology development and commercial production on prototype lines in Freiburg, Germany.
Reliance and NexWafe also signed a deal for joint technology development and commercialization, at scale, of high-efficiency monocrystalline “green solar wafers.” Reliance, through this partnership, will use NexWafe technology in its proposed large-scale wafer manufacturing facilities in India.
NexWafe develops and produces monocrystalline silicon wafers grown directly from inexpensive raw materials. The continuous, direct gas-to-wafer manufacturing process obviates the need for costly and energy-intensive intermediate steps such as polysilicon production and ingot pulling on which traditional wafer manufacturing relies. The process also minimizes wastage, cutting wafer production costs by up to 30 per cent. It also offers a 70 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions during manufacturing.
NexWafe claims its process is ultra-scalable and fully compatible with conventional solar cell manufacturing.