RIL set to acquire Europe's top solar panel maker REC Group for $1.2-1.5 bn: report
01 September 2021
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), which is in a flux as it enters new industry vectors with force, is reported to be looking to acquire Europe's largest solar panel manufacturer, REC Group, for $1.2-1.5 billion.
A successful deal would help bolster the business portfolio of Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd.
Mukesh Ambani-led RIL is said to be in negotiations with global banks to raise $500-600 million for financing the acquisition. The remaining funds will be met through equity issue, the reports say.
REC Group, which is based in Norway and registered in Singapore, is an international 'member' of the China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina).
The company produces silicon material for photovoltaic (PV) applications and multi-crystalline wafers, as well as solar cells and modules for rooftop installations, industrial and solar parks.
REC Group has been present in India for a little over a decade and has been a supplier to power utilities such as Greenko and scaled projects of the Department of Atomic Energy and Eenadu Group, among others.
Subsequently, it entered the rooftop solar panel segment, supplying mainly to industrial users such as Capgemini, Infosys, BMW and Wonder Cements, among others.
Early this month, Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd, along with strategic investors Paulson & Co Inc and Bill Gates, and a few other investors, announced an investment of $144 million in Ambri Inc, an energy storage company based in Massachusetts, USA. The investment will help the company commercialise and grow its long-duration energy storage systems business globally.
RNESL will invest $50 million to acquire 42.3 million shares of preferred stock in Ambri.
Based on patented technology and designed to last between 4-24 hours, Ambri’s long-duration energy storage systems will break through the cost, longevity and safety barriers associated with lithium-ion batteries used in grid-scale stationary storage applications. They will enable a crucial energy storage solution capable of supporting the increasing amounts of renewable energy being integrated into electric power grids.
RNESL and Ambri are also in discussions for an exclusive collaboration to set up a large scale battery manufacturing facility in India, which could add scale and further bring down costs for Reliance’s green energy initiative.
Addressing shareholders in June this year, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani had announced plans to build a Giga factory in Jamnagar for the storage of intermittent energy, as part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex project.
“We are exploring new and advanced electro-chemical technologies that can be used for such large-scale grid batteries to store the energy that we will create. We will collaborate with global leaders in battery technology to achieve the highest reliability for round-the-clock power availability through a combination of generation, storage, and grid connectivity,” Ambani had announced.
Reliance plans to spend Rs60,000 crore to construct four Giga factories to make integrated solar PV modules, electrolysers, fuel cells, and batteries to store energy from the grid. These plants will be located at the new 5,000-acre Green Energy Giga Complex in Jamnagar