New Delhi November 22 2021: India’s diversified conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. has withdrawn its application to form a new entity covering its oil to chemicals business which was to include a 20% stake held by Saudi Aramco, according to a Nov. 19 statement.
In 2019, Reliance announced plans to separate the business into a new entity to enable Saudi Aramco to take a 20% stake and make Reliance a net debt-free company by March 2021. But the process was delayed due to high global crude prices and the coronavirus pandemic. The application to the National Company Law Tribunal is being withdrawn, Reliance said.
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Both companies have decided to re-evaluate the proposed investment in oil to chemicals as Reliance has since targeted its operations will be net zero emissions by 2035, according to the statement.
Earlier this year, Reliance announced its plan to develop the Dhirubhai Ambani green energy giga complex at its integrated refinery complex at Jamnagar in the western state of Gujarat. Reliance aims to establish at least 100 GW of solar energy by 2030 with India planning to reach 450 GW of renewable energy by the same time. Solar-generated power will be used to produce hydrogen, a company official said.
The complex at Jamnagar is the world’s biggest single-site integrated refinery complex with two refineries that together can process low-grade crude and switch between fuels depending on prices.
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The complex has a 33 million mt/year (660,000 b/d) domestic-focused refinery and a 35.2 million mt/year export-oriented refinery.
Reliance’s total refining capacity at Jamnagar stands at 68.2 million mt/year (around 1.36 million b/d).
The complex, the main hub for Reliance’s oil to chemicals business, is seen as the center of the company’s new businesses of renewable energy and new materials, supporting the net-zero commitment.
Despite not moving ahead with the separated oil to chemicals business, Reliance will continue its business relationship with Saudi Aramco. Reliance will continue to be Saudi Aramco’s preferred partner for investments in the private sector in India and collaborate with Saudi Aramco and SABIC for investments in Saudi Arabia, it said.
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco and the governor of the country’s Public Investment Fund, was named as an independent director on the Reliance board as of 2020-21 for three years, after majority shareholder approval in October 2021.
“Saudi Aramco and Reliance are deeply committed to creating a win-win partnership and will make future disclosures as appropriate,” Reliance said in the statement.