Reliance Industries Chairperson Mukesh Ambani announced on Monday that Saudi Arabian giant Aramco will buy a 20% stake in his flagship Reliance Industries’ oil refinery and chemical business. Aramco will buy the shares at a cost of $75 billion (Rs 5.32 lakh crore), he added according to PTI.
Ambani said after the 42nd annual general meeting of Reliance Industries that this would be the biggest investment in the history of the company. The deal will obligate Saudi Aramco to supply 5,00,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Reliance’s twin refineries at Jamnagar in Gujarat. The total capacity of the two refineries is 68.2 million tonnes per annum.
Reliance Industries wishes to transform the Jamnagar refinery from a producer of fuels to chemicals, Mint reported. “The objectives are to preserve as well as upgrade existing refinery margins, while maximising asset utilisation for a sustainable competitive cost of chemicals,” the firm said in its 2018-’19 annual report.
Reliance Industries eventually aims to convert 70% of refined crude in the Jamnagar facility to competitive chemical building blocks of olefins and aromatics. “All refined products priced below crude shall be eliminated for chemicals at the initial stage,” the annual report said. “Final fuel de-risking shall target the elimination of gasoline, alkylate and diesel, synchronised to the global evolution of E-mobility and transport fuel demand decline.”
Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco reported a net profit of $46.9 billion (Rs 3.33 lakh crore) for the first half of 2019-’20, down from $53.02 billion (Rs 3.77 lakh crore) a year ago, the Hindustan Times reported.
Reliance Jio Fiber
Reliance Industries also announced on Monday that its Jio Fiber internet services will start on September 5. The basic package will be priced at Rs 700 per month and will have a speed of 100 Mbps. The most expensive package is priced at Rs 10,000 per month and includes access to broadband, Jio HomeTV and Jio’s IoT.
Jio will also offer landline services with all of its Fiber packages. Voice calls to any Indian operator will be free of cost. “ISD calling tariffs would be 1/5th to 1/10th of industry rates,” Ambani said. “We are offering unlimited US/Canada pack at ₹500 per month.”
The businessman also announced the Jio Forever Plans, through which users can get HDTV or 4k LED television and 4k set-top box free. “We are calling this the Jio Fiber Welcome Offer,” he said. “I invite all of you to make the most of our Welcome Offer, and sign up for Jio Fiber as soon as it is available in your neighbourhood.”
Ambani also announced a partnership between Reliance Jio and Microsoft, News18 reported. Under this agreement, Jio will set up data centres across India and Microsoft will bring the cloud platform.
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said the company will partner withReliance Jio to offer Azure cognitive services, the Hindustan Times reported. The Jio-Azure service will be available free to Indian startups. Reliance will also provide connectivity, business and automation tools to small businesses in the country at the rate of Rs 1,500 per month.
Ambani said Reliance Industries will start investing in advanced technologies. He said the firm will install “one of the largest blockchain networks in the world in India”. On the first day of its launch, “tens of thousands of nodes will be operational”, he claimed.