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RIL to invest Rs 75,000 crore in new energy biz over next 3 yrs

Ambani said Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco and the governor of the Public Investment Fund, will join the board of RIL as an independent director.

RIL chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani.

Diversified business conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Thursday announced the company would invest Rs 75,000 crore in new energy business over the next three years.

“Our overall initial investment from our own internal resources in the new energy business will be Rs 75,000 (over $10 billion) crore in 3 years. We will invest Rs 15,000 crore in value chain, partnerships and future technologies, including upstream and downstream industries,” RIL chairman & managing director Mukesh Ambani said while addressing the annual general meeting.

Ambani said Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco and the governor of the Public Investment Fund, will join the board of RIL as an independent director. “I expect our partnership to be formalised in an expeditious manner during this year, after obtaining required regulatory clearances,” he said on formalising the much-awaited tie-up with Aramco.

Divulging details about his new energy plans, he said, “Reliance will establish and enable at least 100 GW of solar energy by 2030. A significant part of this will come from rooftop solar and decentralised solar installations in villages. These will bring enormous benefits and prosperity to rural India.” Solar energy is available only during the day, while power is needed round the clock. “Therefore, storage is an important piece of the puzzle to solve. For this, we will launch our second initiative — an Advanced Energy Storage Giga Factory,” Ambani said.

“We are exploring new and advanced electro chemical technologies that can be used for such large-scale grid batteries to store the energy that we will create,” he said. RIL will collaborate with global leaders in battery technology to achieve the highest reliability for round-the-clock power availability through a combination of generation, storage, and grid connectivity, he said.

Ambani also announced that Google and Jio teams have jointly developed a smartphone — Jiophone Next — which will be launched on September 10.

On the Jiophone Next smartphone, he said it will support the entire suite of applications from both Google and Jio as well as the Android Play Store through which users will have access to the entire gamut of Android apps. It is powered by an optimised version of the Android Operating System, that has been jointly developed by Jio and Google, especially for the Indian market, he said.

“While being ultra-affordable, the smartphone is packed with cutting-edge features like the voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, smart camera with augmented reality filters and much more,” he said. “We are delighted to announce a new 5G partnership with Reliance Jio to help Indian consumers connect to a faster and better internet and support businesses in their digital transformation and help Jio build new services in sectors like health. education and more. As part of this collaboration, Reliance will also shift its core retail businesses to Google Cloud infrastructure which will enable them to scale up and improve customer experience.” said Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet.

RIL’s third initiative — an Electrolyser Giga Factory — will manufacture modular electrolysers of highest efficiency and lowest capital cost. “These can be used for captive production of green hydrogen for domestic use as well as for global sale,” he said.

He said the fourth initiative will be the Fuel Cell Giga factory. “A fuel cell uses oxygen from the air and hydrogen, to generate electricity. The only emission of this process is non-polluting water vapour,” he said.

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