India’s Reliance buys REC Photo voltaic for $771 million

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Workers rest in front of a Reliance Industries Limited display on 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 that it had acquired REC Solar Holdings for an enterprise value of $ 771 million from China National Bluestar (Group) Co Ltd to achieve net zero carbon by 2035 .

The acquisition of the Norwegian solar module manufacturer by the conglomerate’s Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL) follows the announcement by the parent company – operator of the world’s largest refinery complex – in June that it will invest 10.1 billion US dollars in clean energy over three years.

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

The group wants 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 build a globally integrated photovoltaic giga factory and turn India into a manufacturing center for the lowest cost, high-efficiency solar modules,” Ambani said in the statement.

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

Worldwide, oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell (LON 🙂 Plc and BP (NYSE 🙂 Plc have also set themselves the goal of becoming net-zero carbon companies by 2050, under pressure from investors and climate activists.

Solar installations around the world will see the fastest growth in five years this year, according to data research firm IHS Markit.

Ambani said his company will continue to invest and work with global players to provide reliable and affordable power to customers in India and overseas markets.

Reliance said it would use REC’s technology in its Giga factory to produce PV modules with an initial annual capacity of 4 GW that will eventually grow to 10 GW.

The acquisition would help Reliance grow in key green energy markets around the world, including the United States, Europe, Australia and elsewhere in Asia, adding that it would complement REC’s planned expansions in Singapore, France and the United States would support.

Reliance’s green push comes as India increases its renewable energy capacity from around 100 GW currently to meet around two-fifths of its electricity needs by 2030 under the Paris Agreement.

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