Reliance Industries dives into green energy with $80 billion investment
Mukesh Ambani eyes new opportunities from India's renewables push.
Reliance Industries is poised to ride India’s growing shift toward green energy with a new 5.96 trillion rupee investment package ($80.6 billion) focused on the renewables sector in Gujarat, the state that served as the springboard for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political career.
Owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, the conglomerate has in the past year unveiled plans to reduce its dependence on its mainstay oil-to-chemicals business and invested in clean energy projects to brush up its green credentials.
The move is part of a larger renewable shift in the energy industry spurred by pressure from investors who want companies to do more to help in the fight against climate change.
Reliance will invest Rs 5 lakh crore over a span of 10 to 15 years to set up a 100 gigawatts renewable energy power plant and has already started scouting land for the project, it said in a filing to the stock exchanges on Thursday.
The remaining sum will be spent on setting up solar modules, fuel cells and energy storage batteries, as well as investing in existing projects and new ventures over the next three to five years.
Reliance will also spend Rs 7,500 crore to upgrade its Jio telecom network and invest Rs 3,000 crore in its retail business.
“These projects will create 10 lakh (1 million) direct/indirect employment opportunities (in Gujarat),” Reliance said.
The company already has a massive footprint in Gujarat, operating the world’s biggest refining complex in the city of Jamnagar.
Earlier in the day, another Indian conglomerate Adani Group and South Korean steel major POSCO said they aim to invest about $5 billion on projects that include setting up an integrated steel mill in Gujarat.