Reliance Industries has snapped up multiple partnerships in the clean energy space, such as solar and electric mobility, while pursuing its oil and petrochemical plans, an indication that India’s biggest private refiner will maintain its razor-sharp focus on its core business despite embracing energy transition goals.
Although the pledge by Reliance to invest $10 billion in the next three years in clean energy will serve as a wakeup call for other oil companies, analysts said the partnership with Saudi Aramco and the announcement to pursue petrochemicals expansion and investments is a sign of how Reliance is striking a balance between new energy and core businesses.
Chris Midgley, global head of analytics at S&P Global Platts, said the world would continue to need fossil fuels well beyond 2050 despite an accelerated growth in renewables.
“If we can take away one thing from the current market it is that we cannot rely on renewables on their own displacing fossil fuels. Reliance are rightly focusing on bringing their energy and supply chain expertise to deliver value across the energy mix,” Midgley said.
Reliance is actively pursuing all its plans in the fossil fuels space. Aramco has moved closer in purchasing a stake in the oil-to-chemicals unit of Reliance, following the recent appointment of its chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan as an independent director to the board of Reliance Industries. The deal was announced in 2019 but could not progress in 2020 after the oil price crash and the demand destruction caused by the pandemic.
[Sambit Mohanty, Ruchira Singh, Shilpa Samant]