India's Reliance re-evaluates 20% stake sale in oil-to-chemicals unit to Aramco

Author: Nurluqman Suratman

2021/11/22

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Saudi Aramco have decided to re-evaluate the energy giant's proposed $15bn investment to acquire a 20% stake in RIL's oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business, the Indian chemicals major said late on Friday.

The two companies in August 2019 signed a non-binding letter of intent that proposes that Aramco would acquire the stake in Reliance’s refining, petrochemicals and fuels marketing businesses.

The deal was initially scheduled to be completed by March 2020 but was delayed due to the collapse in oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Due to evolving nature of Reliance’s business portfolio, Reliance and Saudi Aramco have mutually determined that it would be beneficial for both parties to re-evaluate the proposed investment in O2C business in light of the changed context," Reliance said in a statement.

Consequently, Reliance said that has withdrawn its application with the National Company Law Tribunal for segregating the O2C business.

RIL had planned to hive off its O2C unit, including its refining, petrochemicals, fuel retail and bulk wholesale marketing businesses, along with its assets and liabilities, to a new unit.

The new unit would have included the refining and petrochemical plants and manufacturing assets at RIL’s Jamnagar, Dahej, Hazira, Nagothane, Vadodara, Patalganga, Silvassa, Barabanki and Hosiarpur locations.

Reliance earlier  this year unveiled its plans for the New Energy & Materials businesses by announcing the development of Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex at Jamnagar.

The Four Giga Factories which will be part of the complex will include:
- an integrated solar photovoltaic module factory for production of solar energy;
- an advanced energy storage battery factory for storage of intermittent energy;
- an electrolyser factory for production of green hydrogen; and
- a fuel cell factory for converting hydrogen into motive & stationary power

Jamnagar, which accounts for a major part of the O2C assets, is expected to be the centre for RIL's new businesses of renewable energy and new materials, RIL added.

(Image: Photo by DIVYAKANT SOLANKI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)