RIL AGM: Mega expansion in new energy biz, Rs 75,000 cr for petchem
A year after announcing a Rs 75,000 crore investment plan for green energy, Mukesh Ambani, chairman, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) laid out production and expansion plans in solar, green hydrogen and battery manufacturing. The conglomerate also announced Rs 75,000 crore investment for the oil-to-chemicals or petchem segment.
He also announced a new gigafactory for power electronics. This is in addition to the four gigafactories announced last year for photovoltaic solar panels, energy storage, green hydrogen and fuel cell systems.
“One of the key components linking the entire value chain of green energy is affordable and reliable power electronics. We are building significant capabilities in design and manufacturing of power electronics and software systems, integrating with our capabilities of telecommunications, cloud computing and IoT platform,” Ambani said.
He said the company will partner with leading global players in this new segment. The existing four gigafactories announced last year at an estimated investment of Rs 60,000 crore over next three years have already seen tie-ups with foreign majors in the segment.
For solar PV manufacturing, RIL acquired Singapore based REC Solar. The PV cell and module facility of RIL in Jamnagar would be based on REC technology and Ambani said they are aiming to manufacture 10 gigawatt (Gw) capacity. The facility will commence operations in 2024 and double production by 2026.
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RIL plans to build an integrated solar manufacturing unit, starting from quartz and polysilicon to ingot, wafers to finished products cells and modules. When commissioned, this could be a major addition to the country’s solar manufacturing plans. India imports close to 80 per cent of its solar cells and modules, with close to 70 per cent coming from China. According to industry data, India has estimated 3 Gw of cell manufacturing capacity and 9 Gw of module manufacturing. Its installed solar power capacity stands at 57 Gw (including ground mounted and rooftop).
In battery manufacturing, RIL has formed strategic partnerships with Netherlands-based Lithium Werks, UK’s Faradion and US-based Ambri. “We aim to start production of battery packs by 2023 and scale up to a fully-integrated 5 Gwh annual cell to pack manufacturing facility by 2024, and further scale up to 50 Gwh annual capacity by 2027,” said Ambani.
Ambani did not list out any specific target for green hydrogen, but did talk about the transition from grey hydrogen, of which it is the largest producer, to green hydrogen by 2025. He also said the 20 Gw of solar energy generation that RIL sets up will be entirely consumed for its captive needs of round-the-clock (RTC) power and intermittent energy for green hydrogen.
This paper recently reported, RIL will utilise green hydrogen for its captive use, in order to reduce its fossil fuel dependence, meet its decarbonisation target to be a net zero company by 2035.
Though, the existing business of exploration and production (E&P) and oil to chemicals (OTC) remain the key revenue drivers for the conglomerate, in which Ambani announced significant expansion. He said the oil and gas segment witnessed “production jumping nine times and revenues crossing a billion dollars.”
“KG-D6 is contributing 20 per cent of India’s domestic gas production. With the commissioning of the MJ Field by end-2022, KG-D6 will increase its contribution to nearly 30 per cent of India’s gas production,” Ambani said. KG-D6 block currently produces 19 million standard cubic meter gas per day.
For its OTC business, Ambani announced an investment of Rs 75,000 crore over the coming five years. The company will set up worlds’ largest single-train PTA plant of 3 Million Metric Tonnes per Annum (MMTPA) capacity and PET plant of 1 MMTPA capacity at Dahej.
In the vinyl chain, RIL is aiming to triple its existing capacity at its units in India and UAE. “We will aim to complete 1.5 MMTPA of feedstock integrated PVC expansion at Dahej and Jamnagar in phases by 2026. We will also add capacities to make EDC and PVC at Ruwais, in the UAE, as part of Ta’ziz Chemical Zone,” Ambani said.
Under its ‘new materials’ division which was also announced last year, RIL said it will set up India’s first Carbon Fibre plants at Hazira with a capacity of 20,000 tonne per annum.