Saudi Arabia, India's fourth-largest trading partner, plans to invest $100 billion in India, especially in a major oil refinery-cum-petrochemical project and several other mega ventures.
Some of these projects are at an early stage of planning, while a few other proposals have gathered momentum. The Kingdom's state-owned Saudi Aramco is a joint venture partner of the $44 billion-Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, which is reportedly decided to establish its refining and petrochemical facilities in Raigad district of Maharashtra.
The Ratnagiri refinery is being promoted by Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), along with three oil marketing companies - Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Saudi Aramco and Adnoc will own 25 per cent of equity each in the refinery, which will have an installed capacity to process 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day and 18 million tonnes of petrochemical products.
Although it was initially conceived in 2015 in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, it got delayed in the aftermath of protests by locals, which prompted the state authorities to find an alternative venue in Raigad district.
40 JV Opportunities
Saud bin Mohammed Al Sati, Saudi's Ambassador to India, told PTI news agency that more than 40 opportunities for joint venture investments across various sectors have been identified between India and Saudi Arabia this year.
"There is huge untapped potential available in merchandise trade, particularly in non-oil trade and we are enhancing cooperation in economic, commercial, investment, cultural and technological fields," Al Sati said.
India, which relies on Saudi Arabia for its 17 per cent of crude oil and 32 per cent of LPG demand, is an attractive investment destination for the Kingdom and it is eyeing long-term partnerships with New Delhi in areas of oil, gas and mining.
"Saudi Arabia is looking at making investments in India potentially worth $100 billion in the areas of energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture, minerals and mining," Al Sati said.
Saudi Aramco, which has a bullish outlook on India's energy demand, has also decided to acquire a 20 per cent stake in Reliance's oil-to-chemicals (OTC) business at an enterprise value of $75 billion last month, which is billed as the largest foreign direct investment in India.
Saudi Aramco will also supply 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil to Reliance's twin refineries at Jamnagar in Gujarat.