Reliance to make announcements for J&K, Ladakh soon: Ambani

Mukesh Ambani Reliance Industries
Reliance Industries Chairam Mukesh Ambani. PTI File Photo

Mukesh Ambani on Monday (August 12) announced that Saudi oil giant Aramco has agreed to take a 20 per cent stake in his flagship Reliance Industries’ oil refinery and chemical business at an enterprise value of $75 billion (around ₹5,32,466 crore).

Making the announcement at Reliance Industries’ 42nd annual general meeting, he said this would be the biggest foreign investment in the history of the company.

J&K and Ladakh task force soon

Ambani also said that his company would make several announcements for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh region soon.

“Responding to the Prime Minister’s appeal, we stand committed to support people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in all their developmental needs. Hence, we will create a special task force and you will see several announcements for Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh region in our developmental initiatives in the coming months,” he said.

Ambani also informed that his company RIL would take up full responsibility of the families of CRPF personnel killed in Pulwama terror attack in February this year.

“As a mark of respect to the Pulwama martyrs, we have assumed full responsibility for the education of their children and the livelihood of their families,” he said.

Aramco to provide 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day

As part of the deal, Saudi Aramco will supply 500,000 barrels per day or 25 million tonnes per annum, of crude oil to Reliance’s twin refineries at Jamnagar in Gujarat.

Saudi Aramco will take 20% stake in a proposed special purpose vehicle (SPV) housing the twin refineries of Reliance as well as the firm’s petrochemical complex.

The Saudi national oil company, along with its partner UAE’s Abu Dabhi National Oil Co (ADNOC) has taken a 50% stake in a planned $60-billion mega refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Maharashtra by State-owned oil companies, has a bullish outlook on India’s energy demand and is keen on investing here.

Reliance operates two refineries in Jamnagar, Gujarat, with a total capacity of 68.2 million tonnes per annum.

It plans to expand its only-for-exports special economic zone (SEZ) refining capacity to just over 41 million tonne from current 35.2 million tonne but does not have any plans to set up a new refinery in the country. It is currently focused on expanding petrochemical and telecom business.

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is keen to get a foothold in the world’s fastest-growing fuel market to get a captive customer for the crude oil it produces. Crude oil is the basic raw material for the manufacturing of petrochemicals.

Aramco and ADNOC will together hold 50% stake in the 60 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) refinery and adjacent 18 MTPA petrochemical complex planned to be built at Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra by 2025. The two will supply half of the crude oil required for processing at the refinery.

Like other major producers, the two are looking to lock in customers in the world’s third-largest oil consumer through the investment. Kuwait is also looking to invest in projects in return for getting an assured offtake of their crude oil.

Saudi Aramco is also keen on retailing fuel in India. A refinery in India can also be a base for it to export fuel to deficit countries in Europe and the Americas.

India has a refining capacity of 247.6 million tonne, which exceeded the demand of 206.2 million tonne.

Broadband service launch from Sept 5 with unlimited free call

Ambani also announced the roll-out of Jio Giga Fiber from September 5, that will offer free voice calls for life from landline phones, high speed broadband of minimum speed of 100 mbps, free high definition TV and dish with minimum subscription of ₹700 per month. Ambani , chairman and managing director of RIL speaking at the 42nd AGM of the company also announced unlimited ISD calling service from Jio landline at fixed monthly rental of ₹500 to US and Canada.

“In India even the most basic Jio Giga Fiber will start at 100 mbps at the lowest end. We have plans to go all the way to 1 gbps. We are pricing our plan at one-tenth of global rate to make it accessible for every home,” Ambani said.

He said that plan will start at monthly rental of ₹700 and go up to ₹10,000. From mid-2020, the premium Jio Giga Fiber customers will also get to watch new movies on the same day of its release, Ambani said. “Premium Jio Giga Fiber customers can watch movies at home the same day they are released in theatres! This service will be launched in the middle of 2020,” he said.