Global power markets are aiming to decarbonise by reducing fossil-fuelled power generation and substituting it with the construction of low carbon sources of energy, such as nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, biomass and solar. Wind and solar represent the lowest cost of electricity production in many markets, however they produce electricity only during certain periods. To accommodate this intermittency, electricity grid networks need an increasing amount of storage to maintain stability.
By far the dominant chemical solution in battery storage is based on Lithium-ion technology, with widespread adoption in the EV sector. This technology has excellent energy density but has some challenges. The raw materials and production are not controlled by geopolitically favourable locations, increasing a risk to critical national infrastructure for Europe and the US. Lithium batteries must be stored and used in a temperature-controlled environment and most seriously represent a fire risk where they self-combust.
The Armstrong team identified a market need for a battery company that:
- Had a robust and inherently safe technology
- Based on raw materials that were abundant and widely distributed around the globe
- Had a platform to address both stationery and mobility applications
What we did
Armstrong provided the seed investment to a spin-out from the University of Sydney called Gelion Plc. Gelion had a suite of technologies based on Zinc-Bromide for the stationery storage, and for its patented Lithium Sulfur technology to create the most advanced Li-ion battery with the potential to extend the range of EV’s by up to a factor of 2. The Armstrong team became Board members and helped guide the company through the R&D phase to reach early commercialisation.
Armstrong led and participated in a series of private fund raisings, and provided full support to Gelion through an IPO process on the London Stock Exchange AiM market in Nov 2021. The share price remains at a premium to all private rounds, and seed investors made a 30x return at the date of the IPO.