RIL’S investment plans laid out at 44th AGM don’t seem excessive

Mukesh Ambani announced a thrust into green energy, and the launch of a new affordable smartphone at the 44th annual general meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries. He also inducted the Saudi Aramco and PIF boss, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, on the board. There was more good news in that the partnership with BP is producing gas from KG-D6 basin. Aside from that, RIL will continue to expand its retail footprint and Jio Platforms will continue its push into 5G.

The oil-to-chemical (O2C) division receives a big ‘moral’ boost from the induction of a Saudi Aramco representative since this indicates concrete developments in the alliance with Aramco announced two years ago. The connection to the Saudi sovereign wealth fund is worth noting. The Exploration & Production (E&P) division should start generating significant revenues again. Production from the three deep gas wells (two of which are already operational) will generate enough gas to meet roughly 20 per cent of India’s domestic gas demand. New Energy’ initiative will revolve around the creation of four “gigafactories”. This will together entail Rs 60,000 crore in investments over the next three years. These will produce solar PV panels, battery and storage solutions, electrolysers for the production of green hydrogen, and fuel cells to convert said hydrogen into energy.These are all high tech areas. There have been continuous innovation breakthroughs. The New Energy division’s gigafactories should add scale. The details are not clear, however. Technology induction and the ability to scale up viably will be crucial to meet the typically ambitious targets. 

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