MUMBAI : Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani said the conglomerate’s massive investments in green energy aim to replicate the swift success it achieved in the telecom industry and make India the most affordable destination for green energy globally within the decade.
“This new growth engine holds great promise to outshine all our existing growth engines in just 5-7 years,” Ambani said in a statement to shareholders in its annual report for the year ended 31 March. “Just as India has the world’s most affordable wireless broadband today, we will have the world’s most affordable green energy within this decade.”
In June last year, Reliance proposed to invest ₹75,000 crore over three years to set up four giga-factories across 5,000 acres in Jamnagar, produce solar panels, energy storage systems, electrolyzers and fuel cells, and forge global partnerships to help the company achieve net carbon zero status by 2035.
The company’s aggressive investments in clean energy mirror its telecom strategy, where it seized the industry leadership position merely three years after starting commercial operations in September 2016 by offering users free voice calling and cut-price data plans.
In clean energy, Reliance is working with companies, including Ambri in the US, Faradion in the UK and the Netherlands-based Lithium Werks, in the energy storage space.
Similarly, Reliance invested in Germany’s NexWafe, a pioneer in next-gen technology to produce monocrystalline silicon wafers needed in making solar panels.
The company also tied up with Denmark’s Stiesdal for its next-gen electrolyzer technology, which could potentially cut the cost of producing hydrogen from pure water.
“With these collaborations and the giga-factories, Reliance is set to achieve a uniquely integrated position in the green energy value chain globally,” Ambani said.
“This deep integration, apart from the new-age technologies and world-class execution capabilities, will ensure Reliance’s renewable energy systems stay at the cutting edge of cost efficiency globally.”
Ambani highlighted Reliance’s net debt-free status, following the largest-ever capital raise of $44.4 billion in India Inc.’s history and the company’s robust balance sheet that helped it make a $4 billion jumbo bonds sale in early FY22.
The sale, India’s largest-ever foreign-currency bond issuance, was at the lowest coupon for 30- and 40-year tenures by a private sector BBB-rated corporate in Asia, ex-Japan.
“The year also saw Jio emerge as the leader in fibre-based wireline broadband connectivity with more than 5 million connected homes,” Ambani said.
Jio also added 130 million new customers. The retail business added nearly 8 million sq. ft of retail space, taking its total retail space to over 41.6 million sq. ft.
For building its new energy and materials business, the company will seek shareholder approval to add clauses in the memorandum of association for the manufacturing of new energy equipment, including battery storage, solar modules (from polysilicon to modules), electrolyzers, and fuel cells.
“These additional objects may conveniently and advantageously be combined with the existing businesses of the company,” according to the company’s notice for the annual shareholders’ meeting.
Meanwhile, Ambani, for the second year in a row, drew nil salary from Reliance Industries in the last fiscal as he voluntarily gave up remuneration in the wake of the pandemic hitting the business and economy.
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