Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries is expanding its green energy ambitions with the $771 million acquisition of Norwegian solar panel manufacturer REC Solar Holdings, as it targets 100 gigawatts of clean energy by 2030.
Reliance revealed over the weekend that it had struck a deal to acquire a 100% shareholding in REC from China National Bluestar.
“It is in line with our strategy of investing in new and advanced technologies and operating capabilities aimed at achieving Reliance’s goal of enabling 100GW clean and green energy before the end of this decade,” Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani said.
“This will constitute the largest contribution by a single company to Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s target for India to produce 450GW renewable energy by 2030. It will enable India to become a world leader in green energy transition.”
REC’s main headquarters are in Norway, but its operational headquarters are in Singapore, while it also has regional hubs in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia Pacific.
Reliance also indicated REC’s more than 1300 global employees would be maintained following the completion of the acquisition.
Reliance claims REC was the first company to introduce half cut passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) technology, which it says has since been adopted by all major solar panel manufacturers today.
REC owns three manufacturing facilities — two in Norway for making solar grade polysilicon and one in Singapore making photovoltaic cells and modules — while it also holds 600 utility and design patents, 446 of which have been granted.
Reliance stated REC’s “industry leading technology” would be used at the Indian company's planned integrated giga-scale photovoltaic factory being built in Jamnagar, India.
The Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex will have an initial 4GW per annum capacity, with plans to eventually expand the facilities capacity to 10GW per annum.
“Together with our other recent investments, Reliance is now ready to set up a global scale integrated photovoltaic giga factory and make India a manufacturing hub for lowest cost and highest efficiency solar panels,” Ambani said.
“We will continue to invest, build and collaborate with global players to achieve the highest reliability, efficiency and economies to deliver high quality, reliable power at affordable prices to our customers both in India and markets worldwide.”
Reliance said it would continue to support REC’s expansion plans, which includes 2GW to 3GW cells and module capacity in Singapore, a brand new 2GW cells and module unit in France and another 1GW modules plant in the US.
Ambani, who is India’s richest man, unveiled an ambitious plan in June this year for Reliance to invest $10.1 billion in clean energy.
Last month he also claimed Reliance was aiming to bring down the cost of producing green hydrogen to under $2 per kilogram, while it has set a stretch goal of bringing that cost down to below $1 per kilogram within 10 years as it targets 100GW of renewable generation capacity by 2030.