Essar on a new path of growth, to invest in energy, steel, mining sectors – EQ Mag
Armed with substantially lighter balance sheet after repaying Rs 2 lakh crore debt, Essar is embarking on the next phase of growth by investing in hydrogen projects
Armed with substantially lighter balance sheet after repaying Rs 2 lakh crore debt, Essar is embarking on the next phase of growth by investing in hydrogen projects, building LNG import facility and retail chain, and setting up steel plants.
Prashant Ruia, director, Essar Capital Ltd, said Essar currently owns businesses in the core sectors of energy, metals and mining, infrastructure, services and technology and its future plans centre around them.
It is looking to set up steel plants in Odisha and Saudi Arabia and a facility to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Hazira in Gujarat. In the UK, where it owns an oil refinery, the group is setting up a blue hydrogen plant and is exploring opportunities to set up a green ammonia unit in India.
Essar has set up a unit to retail LNG to trucks and will set up a chain of outlets dispensing the environment-friendly fuel.
“We have completed what is certainly the one of the biggest, if not the biggest, deleveraging exercise by repaying Rs 2 lakh crore of loans over the last three years,” he said on the sidelines of India Energy Week here.
Post this, the group has embarked on the new phase of growth cycle, he said.
It already has a USD 15 billion revenue and an EBITDA of USD 1 billion and the new businesses it is undertaking would add to it.
Essar had over the years invested Rs 2 lakh crore in the sectors ranging from ports to steel plants, oil refining and fuel retailing, power generation, mining, shipping and telecom. It sold its oil refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat and fuel retailing network to Russia’s Rosneft-led consortium in an over Rs 86,000-crore deal (USD 13 billion), which was the largest FDI in the sector.
Its steel plant got sold to ArcelorMittal-led group in insolvency proceedings.
Ruia said Essar currently owns businesses in the core sectors of energy, metals and mining, infrastructure, services and technology.
In the energy sector, it has commercial interests in oil, gas and coal bed methane exploration and production in India, Vietnam and Nigeria; oil refining and retailing in the UK and power generation in India and Canada.
It is India’s largest coal-bed methane (CBM) producer, pumping 0.8 million standard cubic metres per day of gas.
In infrastructure, Essar operates ports and terminals in India, UK and Africa, and has commercial interests in turnkey project construction in India and the Middle East.
In the metals and mining sectors, the Essar Group has exposure in iron ore mining and pelletisation, and coal mining in USA and Indonesia. In new age services, Essar has business interests in digital solutions and customer experience platforms in India, Europe and USA.
A 50:50 joint venture with ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Ltd is setting up a 4 million tonnes a year LNG import facility at Hazira, he said, without giving timelines for completion of the project.