Reliance of India buys REC Solar for $ 771 million

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Workers rest in front of a Reliance Industries Limited advertisement at a construction site in Mumbai, India, March 2, 2016. REUTERS / Shailesh Andrade / File Photo

By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Reliance Industries Ltd announced on Sunday the acquisition of REC Solar Holdings for an enterprise value of $ 771 million from China National Bluestar (Group) Co Ltd as it seeks to become net zero carbon by 2035.

The purchase of the Norwegian solar panel maker by Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL) of the conglomerate follows the June announcement by the parent, operator of the world’s largest refining complex, that it would invest $ 10.1 billion in clean energy over three years.

Reliance, owned by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, plans to build a solar capacity of at least 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, representing more than a fifth of India’s goal of installing 450 GW by the end of this decade. .

The group aims to build four “giga factories” to produce solar cells and modules, energy storage batteries, fuel cells and green hydrogen.

“Along with our other recent investments, Reliance is now ready to establish an integrated Giga PV factory on a global scale and make India a manufacturing center for lower cost and higher efficiency solar panels,” Ambani said in the statement.

RNESL said in August it would invest $ 50 million in US energy storage company Ambri Inc as part of a $ 144 million investment from Reliance Industries, along with billionaire Bill Gates, investment management firm Paulson & Co. and others.

Globally, oil majors like Royal Dutch Shell (LON 🙂 Plc and BP (NYSE 🙂 Plc have also set targets to become net zero-carbon companies by 2050 amid pressure from investors and activists. climatic

Solar installations around the world are poised for their fastest growth in five years this year, according to data research firm IHS Markit.

Ambani said that his firm will continue to invest and collaborate with global players to provide reliable and affordable power to customers in India and foreign markets.

Reliance said it would use REC’s technology at its gigantic PV panel manufacturing factory, with an initial annual capacity of 4 GW, eventually increasing to 10 GW.

The acquisition would help Reliance grow in key green energy markets globally, including the United States, Europe, Australia and other parts of Asia, he said, adding that it would support REC’s planned expansions in Singapore, France and the United States.

Reliance’s green boost comes as India increases its renewable energy capacity, currently around 100 GW, to meet roughly two-fifths of its electricity needs by 2030 under the Paris climate agreement.

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