Saudi Arabia's petrochemical giant Aramco, the world's largest oil exporter, is in talks with several companies including Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to invest in India's petrochemical sector, media reports say. Top executives of RIL, which owns the world's largest refinery in Jamnagar in Gujarat state, met members of the delegation accompanying Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his India visit on Tuesday, according to the reports.
Aramco has clarified that the proposed investment is in addition to the $44-billion petrochemical complex planned in Maharashtra state's Ratnagiri district along with United Arab Emirates (UAE) state-owned Abu Dhabi-based oil producer Adnoc. The Gulf giants are partnering with India's state-owned oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum (HP) for the venture.
We are looking at additional investment in India. We are in talks with other companies, including Reliance Industries
Saudi Arabia Vision 2030
The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (Sagia) signed four investment agreements worth more than $28 million and 11 memorandums of understanding (MoU) with Indian companies like Tata Consultancy Services and Glenmark. As part of its 2030 vision document, Riyadh is offering investment opportunities worth $453 billion for the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP).
Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told reporters on the sidelines of the Saudi-India Forum in New Delhi that his company was in talks with RIL for further investment in India. He was confident that the Ratnagiri refinery project would meet the 2025 completion deadline despite land acquisition issues involving the local communities following which Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has proposed a change in the location.
Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals (RRPL) chief executive officer B Ashok, however, said the project would be commissioned by 2025. "We have asked the state government for 15,000 acres and in the coastal area," Ashok said. Nasser said his company was "not limited to investment in Ratnagiri" and was looking at other opportunities too. "We are looking at additional investment in India. We are in talks with other companies, including Reliance Industries," Business Standard quoted Nasser as saying.
Ratnagiri refinery project would meet the 2025 completion deadline despite land acquisition issues involving the local communities following which Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has proposed a change in the location
Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al Falih and RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani discussed opportunities for joint investment and cooperation in petrochemicals and communication projects, the website says. RIL operates two refineries at Jamnagar with a combined annual capacity of 68.2 million tonnes. Reliance Jio is one of the largest telecommunication service providers in India.
"We are not just marketers and sellers, but investors too. We want to increase our share of investment in India. It is our number one priority for investment outside Saudi Arabia," Falih said. He expressed the hope that Aramco will become a household name in India through investments across sectors.