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Oxis blames COVID for having to suspend operations of its lithium-sulphur business

Mon, 03/01/2021 - 10:11 -- Vic

UK lithium-sulfur battery firm Oxis has ‘suspended operations’ including putting a halt on its $5 million ten-year contract with Yachts de Luxe (YdL) of Singapore.

The company cited COVID as a reason for the halt in production in operations, despite infection rates in the UK reaching a four-month low, and as the firm’s staff “gradually” returning to work.

However, the company told BEST it was continuing with operations at its Port Talbot, Wales, facility, which is due to start producing cathode and electrolyte to support the production of 500,000 lithium-sulfur cells this year. The Oxford-based firm's Minas Gerais Development Company Codemge project in Brazil "ought not be adversely affected".

Oxis said it is working with its board of directors on accessing short-term funding while it waits for investment funds— signed last year— to be received.

The company was unable to provide more information on its finances at this time. 

A statement to BEST read: “Due to the growing number of new COVID infections across the UK, Oxis board and management feel a responsibility to staff health-and-safety and continued business operations. 

“Following UK government guidelines in line with the UK National Lockdown, Oxis has decided to temporarily suspend operations until the COVID infection rates have reduced significantly according to the UK government. We shall operate with a skeletal number of staff to keep the essential functions running.”

An Oxis spokesman said: “Staff are gradually coming back to work. Oxis will be fully operational by April.

“Whilst work is continuing with the operation in Port Talbot, due to a skeletal staff, we felt that it was appropriate to temporarily halt the Yachts de Luxe project.“

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