Oxis Energy has signed a contract with Codemge Participacoes in Belo Horizonte, Brazil to establish a digital manufacturing plant for mass production of lithium sulphur cells.

Oxis Energy Brazil Holdings will manage the plant, while Codemge’s US$60m investment will go towards the building of the plant in Belo Horizonte, with Phase 1 having a cell capacity of 2m cells per year.

Collaborating with Siemens Digital Factory, among others, the aim is to design a plant which will produce around 5m cells by the mid 2020s. Oxis expects to complete Phase 1 in 2022.

Oxis Li-S cells will be developed, designed and produced to meet the demands of three sectors: aviation, defence and electric vehicles such as buses, trucks and light commercial vehicles.

“The decision made by Codemge to invest alongside Oxis to develop and build the first ever Lithium Sulphur cell technology manufacturing plant is of great significance to the widespread adoption of pure electric vehicles for worldwide consumption,” said Oxis Energy CEO, Huw Hampson-Jones.

“It also displays the foresight of the State Government of Minas Gerais in moving away from its dependency on North American or Asian cell manufacturing capabilities. Brazil will emerge as a major future supplier of re-chargeable lithium batteries, whilst at the same time exploiting its natural mineral reserves of lithium in the state of Minas Gerais.”

This round of funding is in addition to the GBP6.3m investment from the Brazilian private equity fund Aerotec completed in 2018.

Oxis has appointed a General Manager for Brazil, with further employment of staff expected in the near term.