Reliance expects Aramco deal to formalize this year amid $10bn energy push

BENGALURU (Reuters): Reliance Industries said on Thursday it hopes to formalize its partnership with Saudi Aramco this year and its Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan will join the Indian conglomerate’s board as an independent director.

“Al-Rumayyan joining our board is also the beginning of internationalization of Reliance,” Chairman Mukesh Ambani told shareholders on Thursday.

Reliance had announced a sale of a 20 percent stake in its oil-to-chemicals business for $15 billion in 2019 to Aramco, the world’s top oil exporting firm.

However, the deal stalled after oil prices and demand crashed last year due to the pandemic.

Separately, Reliance Industries said it would invest 750 billion Indian rupees ($10.10 billion) in a new energy business over the next three years, Ambani said.

Reliance will build solar manufacturing units, a battery factory for energy storage, a fuel cell-making factory and an electrolyzer unit to produce green hydrogen as a part of the business, Ambani said.

As a part of the new business — called the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex — Reliance will also build solar capacities of at least 100 GW by 2030, Asia’s richest man told his shareholders at the meeting which was held virtually due to COVID-19.

That would account for over a fifth of India’s renewable energy target of installing 450 GW by 2030. India wants green energy sources to make up 40 percent of electricity generated by the end of this decade.