Reliance Industries acquires 100% stake in REC Group, plans new manufacturing bases

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From pv magazine Global

Reliance New Energy Solar (RNES), an arm of Indian multinational company Reliance Industries Ltd, has signed a binding agreement to acquire 100% shareholding of PV module manufacturer REC Group. According to a press release, REC Group was acquired from its previous owner China National Bluestar Group for a value of US$771 million.

Having earlier this year announced plans to invest close to $10 billion in establishing a “fully integrated, end-to-end renewable energy ecosystem”, RNES is moving forward with plans up and down the solar supply chain, having also this week announced the acquisition of a 40% stake in engineering, procurement and construction supplier Sterling and Wilson.

Expansion plans

RNES plans to integrate REC’s production technology in its plans for a vertically integrated, silicon-to-module manufacturing site in Jamnagar, India. REC Group additionally stated that its new owner’s financial strength will help it to realise plans to expand its current base of around 2 GW PV cell and module production capacity located in Singapore to 5 GW over the next two to three years, a new 2 GW cells and module facility in France, and another 1 GW module facility in the U.S.

Currently, REC has three manufacturing facilities – two in Norway for making solar-grade polysilicon and one in Singapore for producing PV cells and modules, and a global workforce of over 1,300 employees.

“In India, Reliance plans to use this industry leading technology in their fully integrated, metallic Silicon to PV Panel manufacturing giga factory at Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex, Jamnagar initially starting with 4 GW per annum capacity and eventually growing to 10 GW per annum,” read the press release.

“Reliance’s deep expertise of scale, project execution and operational excellence coupled with REC’s technology will facilitate the establishment of state-of-the-art next-generation fully integrated PV manufacturing facility at Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex and subsequently replicate such complexes around the world,” it continued.

Reliance Industries is led by Mukesh Ambani, currently ranked by Bloomberg as the 11th richest person in the world. The group reported net profits of $7.4 billion for the year ending March 31 2021, primarily from activities in the fossil fuel segment. In June, Ambani announced plans to invest up to $10 billion in a new venture across the renewable energy industry, including plans to span the entire solar supply chain, as well as make investments in energy storage and hydrogen.

* This article was amended on October 11, 2021 at 2.27 pm to include details of Reliance’s manufacturing expansion plans.

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