Reliance Industries acquires 40% stake in Sterling & Wilson Solar and buys Norway-based REC Solar Holdings

Reliance Industries Ltd has completed the acquisition of a 40 per cent stake in Shapoorji Pallonji Group’s Sterling & Wilson Renewable Energy Ltd (SWREL) for Rs 2,845 crore.

In October 2021 Reliance had announced two back-to-back acquisitions — a $ 771 million buyout of Norway-based solar panel manufacturer REC Solar Holdings and purchase of a 40 per cent stake in solar Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) firm SWREL, formerly known as Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited, in a multi-stage transaction for about Rs 2,845 crore.

The acquisitions were to help the oil-to-retail conglomerate create a multi-billion-dollar clean energy portfolio. In a stock exchange filing, Reliance said its subsidiary Reliance New Energy Ltd (RNEL) bought 1.96 crore shares or 10.37 per cent stake of SWREL at a price of Rs 275 apiece aggregating to Rs 737.54 crore from Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Pvt Ltd and Khurshed Daruvala. “Consequent to such acquisition, RNEL holds 40 per cent of the total paid-up equity share capital of SWREL,” it said.

REC makes solar-grade polysilicon and solar panel and modules at facilities in Norway and Singapore and has more than 1,300 employees globally. SWREL has the expertise in executing 11-plus gigawatts of solar turnkey projects globally.

Reliance will use REC’s technology to manufacture metallic silicon and solar panels and SWREL’s EPC expertise at its gigafactory at Jamnagar in Gujarat, with an initial annual capacity of 4 GW, eventually rising to 10 GW.

The acquisitions are part of the $ 2 billion Mukesh Ambani, chairman RIL, had earmarked for acquisitions to create clean energy capabilities. Having committed to net-zero carbon by 2035, India’s largest company by market value plans to build solar photovoltaic panels, batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and electrolysers over the next three years. Reliance plans to install 100 GW solar capacity by 2030 to become one of the largest domestic players with more than 30 per cent market share. It aims to build four ‘giga factories’ to produce solar cells and modules, energy storage batteries, fuel cells and green hydrogen.

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