Reliance Industries plans Rs1,50,000-crore capex over 3 years

Mukesh AmbaniReliance Industries Ltd, India's richest business conglomerate, today announced a planned capital outlay of Rs1,50,000 crore over the next three years, spread over its core business of petrochemicals and oil as well as the retail and telecom sectors.

Addressing shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in Mumbai, RIL chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said, ''Reliance has embarked upon its largest investment programme in its history.''

The investments span oil and gas exploration and production, refining and marketing, petrochemicals, retail and broadband and digital services, he said.

RIL is aiming to be ''among top five petrochemical producers in the world,'' he said, adding that capacity is being expanded to 25 million tonnes from 15 million tonnes per year.

In last year's AGM, Ambani had announced an investment of Rs1,00,000 crore over 4-5 years; that has now been expanded to Rs1,50,000 crore in three years.

On gas production, Ambani said while RIL's partnership with the UK's BP Plc has started delivering results with a significant gas discovery being made 2 km below the currently producing fields in the Krishna-Godavari D6 block, the company is now looking at quickly bringing into production satellite fields in the flagging block and nearby areas.

The company is also looking at beginning production from its Sohagpur coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks in Madhya Pradesh by 2015, he said.

While Ambani did not give a roadmap for launch of telecom services, he said the telecom business unit would increase headcount to 10,000 next year from 3,000 currently.

The unit, Reliance Jio Infocomm, is the only company to have nationwide permits for 4G broadband, but is yet to start commercial services.

''We are making these investments at a time when the global economy is facing one of its most challenging periods in modern times. Most economies are faced with slowdown, high unemployment and lack of visible growth triggers.

''Reliance is making significant investment in all five businesses simultaneously - exploration and production, petroleum refining and marketing, petrochemcials, retail and broadband and digital services,'' Ambani said.

On the upcoming 4G services, Ambani said these would be pillared by ''affordability and providing an unparalleled range of services that do not exist today''.

''In the coming years Reliance Jio's next generation digital infra and services platform will catalyse a transformation and will embrace almost every facet of India's economic growth and social progress,'' he said.

He said revenues from RIL's investments in US shale gas ventures have doubled.

RIL's retail business has crossed Rs10,000 crore revenue and has achieved break-even, he said.