Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Sunday announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd will buy REC Group from China National Bluestar for an enterprise value of US$771 million (around Rs 5,800 crore). This acquisition will bolster Reliance Industries’ Rs 75,000-crore new energy project announced at the company’s annual general meeting this year.
REC Group is an international pioneering solar energy company dedicated to empowering homeowners, businesses, and utilities with clean, affordable solar power in order to facilitate global energy transitions. Founded in 1996, the company is one of the largest vendors of solar panels in the world and is well known for producing silicon material for photovoltaic (PV) applications and multi-crystalline wafers. With an annual volume of 1.5 gigawatts (GW), it has made more than 40 million solar panels, with generation of 11GW of power for customers.
IKEA, Audi, Tiger Beer are some of its customers and it has three manufacturing facilities – two in Norway for making solar grade polysilicon and one in Singapore making PV cells and modules. The leading European brand for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels—has an annual solar panel production capacity of 1.8GW and has installed around 10GW capacity globally.
REC’s diversified range of solar modules are recognised as among industry leaders in efficiency, reliability and long-guaranteed life. The heterojunction (HJT) technology used by REC helps its modules surpass the performance of other commonly-used technologies in the industry.
In India, the company has been present for more than 10 years. After starting out as a supplier — to power utilities such as Greenko or scaled projects for the Department of Atomic Energy and Eenadu Group, among others — it pivoted to the rooftop segment for industrial users such as Capgemini, BMW and Wonder Cements, among others.
On the mega acquisition of REC Group, Reliance Industries said REC has “always had strong focus on research and development and now, coupled with Reliance’s world-class innovation, scale, and operational excellence, will further accelerate path breaking technological developments and introduction of new products.”
REC was the first to introduce half-cut passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) technology, which is adopted by all major manufacturers later. Now REC has moved on to its next generation HJT technology.
Reliance Industries will support REC’s planned expansions, including 2-3GW Cells and Module capacity in Singapore, brand new 2GW Cells and Module unit in France and another 1GW Modules plant in the US.
“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 4GW per annum capacity and eventually growing to 10GW per annum,” Reliance Industries chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.
Earlier this year, RIL chairman had announced ambitious green energy plans with the setting up of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex on 5,000 acres in Jamnagar.
The acquisition of REC will help Reliance with a ready global platform and the opportunity to expand and grow in key green energy markets globally, including in the US, Europe, Australia and elsewhere in Asia, the company mentioned.
India’s solar cell-making capacity is close to 3GW a year and that of modules is 15GW. The deal comes at a time when the country has introduced a Rs 4,500-crore production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturing solar photovoltaic modules. The scheme is expected to add 10GW capacity.
India has set a target of 450GW renewable energy capacity by 2030. It currently has an installed renewable energy capacity of 89.63GW, with 49.59GW under execution.