French giant TotalEnergies will buy a quarter of the equity in Adani New Industries Ltd (ANIL), a part of Gautam Adani’s eponymous group. The Adani group did not disclose the value of the deal. Instead, it talked about ANIL investing $50 billion over 10 years in green hydrogen and, in the initial phase, building a production capacity of 1 million tonnes a year for green hydrogen before 2030.ANIL is critical to Adani’s ambition of becoming the world’s cheapest producer of green hydrogen, the zero-emission fuel that can propel the world’s decarbonisation drive but has yet to be produced in a way that makes it commercially viable.Adani Enterprises, the group flagship, saw its stock rise 5.6 per cent on Tuesday, after it informed the stock exchanges about its deal with Total. The BSE benchmark Sensex, of which Adani Enterprises is not a part, fell slightly by 0.29 per cent.“Our confidence in our ability to produce the world’s least expensive electron is what will drive our ability to produce the world’s least expensive green hydrogen,” Gautam Adani, chairman, Adani Group, said in a written statement.He is not alone in this quest. The search for the cheapest hydrogen has brought the country’s two richest industrialists face to face. Mukesh Ambani, with whom Adani has been swapping the position of being Asia’s richest, has ambitions of his own. In January, he announced a $75-billion push in renewables infrastructure, in which green hydrogen is said to have a pride of place. Last year, the Reliance Industries Chairman talked about producing green hydrogen at $1 a kg — the lowest cost in the world and about 60 per cent lower than what it is today. He said Reliance will “aggressively pursue” the $1 a kg target and “achieve it well before the turn of this decade”.The Adani Group had in 2020 said it would invest 70 per cent of the budgeted capex of its energy vertical in clean energy and energy-efficient systems. In June 2021, Reliance announced its foray into green energy with investments worth Rs 75,000 crore in the ensuing three years. Two months later, Adani followed suit by announcing a $20-billion investment over 10 years in the renewable energy supply chain, including power generation, manufacturing, transmission and distribution.Adani Enterprises, which recently launched its arm, Adani Petrochemicals, plans to offer a range of green fuels and use its supply chains and renewable energy units for their production and transport. The company plans to make green hydrogen, green methanol, green ammonia and green fertiliser.The deal announced on Tuesday is the fourth between Adani Group and Total. In 2021, the French major picked up a 20 per cent stake in Adani Green Energy Ltd, the renewable power company of the Adani group. In 2020, Total and Adani formed a 50-50 joint venture at an enterprise value of Rs 17,385 crore for 2.3 Gw of solar assets. In 2019, Total had acquired 37.4 per cent in Adani Gas and 50 per cent in the group’s Dhamra LNG project.“This future production capacity of 1 million tonne per annum of green hydrogen will be a major step in increasing TotalEnergies’ share of new decarbonised molecules including biofuels, biogas, hydrogen, and e-fuels to 25 per cent of its energy production and sales by 2050,” said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.