Sept 29 (Reuters) – India’s Adani Group will invest more than $100 billion over the next decade, most of it in the energy transition business, its Chairman Gautam Adani said on Tuesday, as the ports-to-energy conglomerate accelerates an already aggressive expansion plan.
After founding the group in 1988 as a commodities trading business, the 60-year-old has ventured into multiple sectors, mainly in the infrastructure space and in line with the priorities of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“As a group, we will invest over $100 billion of capital in the next decade,” Adani, the world’s second-richest person, told the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore.
“We have earmarked 70% of this investment for the energy transition space. We are already the world’s largest solar player, and we intend to do far more.”
He did not say how the investments would be financed. Debt research firm CreditSights said earlier this month it was concerned about the group’s leverage, though the group said its ratios were healthy and in line with industry benchmarks.
Adani has a personal fortune of $143 billion, according to Forbes, behind only Elon Musk. The combined market capitalisation of the group’s listed companies is $260 billion, growing exponentially in recent years.
The Adani Group has announced deals worth billions of dollars this year alone, the biggest one being its $10.5 billion acquisition of Holcim AG’s (HOLN.S) cement businesses in India – Ambuja Cements Ltd (ABUJ.NS) and ACC Ltd (ACC.NS).
Gautam Adani said the group wanted to be an inexpensive producer of green hydrogen – which is extracted from water using electrolysis in a process powered by renewable energy.
He said the group was in the process of building a 10 gigawatt (GW) silicon-based photo-voltaic chain, a 10 GW wind-turbine manufacturing facility and a 5 GW hydrogen electrolyser factory.
“It is an absolute game changer for India and opens up the unprecedented possibility that India could one day become a net energy exporter,” he said.
India is currently the world’s third-largest crude importer and consumer.
Adani said his group was India’s largest airport operator with 25% of passenger traffic and 40% of air cargo. It is also the largest ports and logistics company in India with a 30% market share.