As part of the investment promotion activity for the now-deferred 10th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2022 (which was scheduled for January 10-12 in Gandhinagar), Reliance Industries (RIL) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Gujarat for a total investment of Rs 5.95 trillion.
Though the investment pact is just a memorandum of understanding right now, it outlines the scope of Ambani’s green ambitions and is a big step up from the $10 billion (over Rs 73000 crore) investment over three years he had announced in June.
The MoU entails an investment of Rs 5 trillion in Gujarat over the next 10-15 years for setting up a 100-gigawatt (Gw) renewable energy power plant and green hydrogen ecosystem development to make the state net-zero and carbon-free.
The conglomerate announced it would develop an ecosystem for assisting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and encourage entrepreneurs to embrace new technologies and innovations, leading to captive use of renewable energy and green hydrogen.
In consultation with the state government, RIL has already kick-started the process of scouting land for 100-Gw renewable energy power projects in Kutch, Banaskantha, and Dholera, even as it has requested for 450,000 acres of land in Kutch. Further, RIL will invest another Rs 60,000 crore in setting up new energy manufacturing-integrated renewables, such as solar photovoltaic module through the manufacturing of polysilicon wafers, cells, and modules, as well as electrolyser, energy-storage battery, and fuel cells.
Overall, these projects will create 1 million direct and indirect employment opportunities in Gujarat, said RIL.
Meanwhile, an additional Rs 25,000 crore worth of investments will be made by RIL in existing projects and new ventures over the next three to five years.
RIL has also proposed to invest Rs 7,500 crore over three to five years for Jio network's upgrade to 5G and another Rs 3,000 crore over five years in Reliance Retail.
These projects will also boost Reliance’s target to make its operations carbon neutral by 2035 - an ambitious target for a company that derived 60% of its revenue from oil refining and petrochemicals.
The announcement follows billionaire Gautam Adani-led conglomerate’s pact with South Korean steel giant Posco to explore business opportunities in India, including setting up a green steel mill in Gujarat, with a potential investment of $5 billion.Adani has committed to invest a total of $70 billion by 2030 across its green energy value chain.
(With inputs from Bloomberg)