Re­liance In­dus­tries to di­ver­sify hy­dro­car­bon busi­ness as re­new­able en­ergy gains ground

Chemical Industry Digest - - News & Views -

Re­liance In­dus­tries Ltd. is seek­ing to “fu­ture-proof” its hy­dro­car­bon port­fo­lio as re­new­able en­ergy finds cur­rency in the coun­try and abroad, its Chair­man Mukesh Am­bani told share­hold­ers at the com­pany’s 41st an­nual gen­eral meet­ing, in Mum­bai.

“We have a com­plete plan to fur­ther in­crease the level of in­te­gra­tion by adding new chem­i­cal chains and ca­pac­ity to pro­duce new ma­te­ri­als and com­pos­ites of high value,” he said. “This will min­imise the im­pact of renewables and elec­tric­ity on trans­porta­tion fu­els,” he added.

RIL said it was near­ing the end of its largest-ever in­vest­ment at its Jam­na­gar re­fin­ery com­plex in Gu­jarat. The in­vest­ment helped Jam­na­gar emerge as the world’s largest man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity for paraxy­lene — a key raw ma­te­rial to make other in­dus­trial chem­i­cals. With a 4.2-mil­lion tonne ca­pac­ity, Re­liance is now at the sec­ond spot glob­ally among paraxy­lene pro­duc­ers.

The open­ing of the world’s largest off-gas cracker com­plex po­si­tions Re­liance as one of the most ef­fi­cient pro­duc­ers of poly­mers. Fur­ther, the pet­coke gasi­fi­ca­tion project will elim­i­nate the de­pen­dence of the re­fin­ery on im­ported nat­u­ral gas and add value to its prof­itabil­ity, par­tic­u­larly in a high oil price sce­nario, Am­bani said.

Th­ese new pro­jects have re­de­fined the oil-to-chem­i­cals in­te­gra­tion, which Re­liance be­gan in the late 1990s. “As the world mi­grates from fos­sil fu­els to re­new­able en­ergy, we will fur­ther max­imise oil-to-chem­i­cals con­ver­sion and up­grade all of our fu­els to high­value petro­chem­i­cals. This upgra­da­tion will be im­ple­mented in a phased man­ner over the next decade to meet the rapidly in­creas­ing de­mand for petro­chem­i­cals in In­dia and the re­gion. The hy­dro­car­bon busi­ness is thus poised for robust value cre­ation. It will play a cat­alytic role in de­ter­min­ing prof­itabil­ity of hy­dro­car­bons busi­nesses of the fu­ture,” Am­bani stated.

The com­pany will com­mis­sion the butyl rub­ber project later this year, be­sides adding com­pos­ites and car­bon-fi­bre to its port­fo­lio, Am­bani said. “Th­ese high-value ma­te­ri­als will cater to the grow­ing needs of In­dia’s trans­porta­tion and al­ter­nate en­ergy sec­tors,” Am­bani in­formed, adding that the value-chain in­te­gra­tion will al­low Re­liance to cre­ate “an an­nu­ity-like cash flow with lower risk of cycli­cal mar­kets”.

Re­liance and its joint ven­ture part­ner BP plc in­tends to start gas pro­duc­tion from the KG-D6 Block in 2020 and reach full pro­duc­tion of 30-35 mil­lion met­ric stan­dard cu­bic me­tres per day by 2022, he said. Re­liance is also weigh­ing a cross-bor­der merger of Re­liance Hold­ing USA (RHUSA) with RIL to in­te­grate the gas re­sources in Amer­ica with the In­dian mar­ket, Am­bani said, adding that BP plc was pur­su­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to source and dis­trib­ute gas to In­dian con­sumers.

The com­pany is do­ing well in its E-com­merce busi­nesses as well and has dou­bled its sub­scriber base to 215 mil­lion in 22 months and is all set to launch newer de­vel­op­ments in the same.

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