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RIL invests in German solar wafer company NexWafe


Reliance Industries, through its unit Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), has invested in German “green solar wafers” technology company NexWafe GmbH (NexWafe), and signed a pact with Danish company Stiesdal A/S for hydrogen electrolyser, as part of a strategy to expand its clean energy portfolio through partnerships.

Late on Tuesday,

said it had invested 25 million euros in a Series C financing round in NexWafe. The investment makes RIL a strategic lead investor in the company, which is developing and producing monocrystalline silicon wafers, also called green solar wafers, which are cost effective.

“Our investment in NexWafe signals an important step towards accelerating India’s green energy transition and positioning India as a global leader in photovoltaic manufacturing,” RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.



“We believe NexWafe’s innovative ultra-thin wafer will give solar manufacturers a significant advantage over existing photovoltaic technologies, helping consumers in India and globally realize the benefits of solar energy more quickly and more efficiently,” Ambani added.

The transaction is proposed to be completed by end of this month.

RIL will help NexWafe accelerate product, technology and commercial development for the latter’s solar photovoltaic products. The two companies have also entered into an ‘India Strategic Partnership Agreement’ that provides for joint technology development and commercialization, at scale, of high efficiency monocrystalline “green solar wafers.”

This will allow RIL secure access to NexWafe’s proprietary technology and plans to build large-scale wafer manufacturing facilities in India using the NexWafe processes and technology.

Separately, RIL also notified the bourses late on Tuesday that RNESL had signed a memorandum of understanding with Danish company Stiesdal A/S with the aim to partner and cooperate on the completion, development, and subsequent manufacturing in India of hydrogen electrolysers, which is being developed by Stiesdal. According to the MoU, Steisdal will grant a technology license to RNESL for this purpose.

Both announcements are in line with Ambani’s ambitious plans of investing Rs 75,000 crore over the next three years to build a new clean energy business to fuel the conglomerate’s commitment to be net carbon neutral by 2035.

The plan entails three parts—a Rs 60,000 core investment in four giga factories that will manufacture and fully integrate all the critical components for the business; a Rs 15,000 crore investment in building the value chain, partnerships and future technologies, including upstream and downstream industries; and repurposing the company’s engineering, project management and construction capabilities toward clean energy.

On Sunday, RIL announced two acquisitions in the clean energy space through its arm Reliance New Energy Solar. The company said that it will acquire 100% stake in solar panel manufacturer REC Solar Holdings AS (REC Group) from China National Bluestar (Group) Co for an enterprise value of $771 million (around Rs 5,802 crore). RIL also announced the acquisition of 40% stake in Sterling & Wilson Power, which is into engineering, procurement and construction for solar power projects.

Prior to this, in August, RIL made its first strategic move in the renewable energy sector with an investment of $50 million in US-based energy storage company Ambri Inc.

“With RIL’s plan in place for solar manufacturing, we now incorporate the planned capex for solar capacity of up to $5 billion in our model,” HSBC Global Research said on Tuesday, before the most recent announcement.

“We also adjust our estimates to account for improved refining margins and faster acquisition of telecom subscribers. This results in a 5-13% increase in our earnings estimates and 15% increase in our target price.”

The brokerage maintained its ‘hold’ rating on shares of RIL but increased the price target to Rs 2,350 a share from Rs 2,050 earlier.

On Tuesday, RIL shares closed at Rs 2,668.5 apiece on the BSE, up 0.7%.



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