By Nidhi Verma
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Reliance Industries Ltd will continue to operate its refineries and petrochemical projects profitably, even as fossil fuel demand wanes due to a gradual global shift to clean energy, Chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Friday.
"We have already put in place a comprehensive strategy to ensure that all our investments and all our assets remain not just safe, but actually become profitable even as fossil fuel demand wanes," Ambani said at the group's annual shareholder meeting.
He said Reliance will switch to 100% green energy for captive consumption to cut energy costs, and upgrade the output of its refineries into value added chemicals.
Billionaire Ambani on Monday also announced the appointment of his three children as board directors at the oil-to-chemicals conglomerate, as he prepares to eventually hand over the reins.
Reliance, the operator of the world's biggest refining complex at Jamnagar in western India, is investing 750 billion rupees ($9.08 billion) in clean energy and technologies as it seeks to become net carbon zero by 2035.
The company is building four giga factories at Jamnagar to produce solar cells and modules, energy storage batteries, fuel cells and green hydrogen.
"..let me assure you that both during and after energy transition, our Jamnagar refining complex and all other petrochemical complexes will continue to operate profitably," he said.
Reliance aims to start commissioning facilities at its solar cell and module factory in phases from end-2025 and to set up a battery giga factory by 2026, he said, adding the plan is to install at least 100 gigawatts of renewable energy generation capacity by 2030.
Ambani said Reliance's Jamnagar refining complex, which has the capability to process 1.4 million barrels of oil per day, will be progressively operated as a chemicals and materials feedstock production engine.
($1 = 82.6000 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Sharon Singleton)