France’s TotalEnergies pauses green hydrogen project with Adani – EQ Mag
A contract to create a new hydrogen company with Adani “has not been signed and will not be signed”, said TotalEnergies chief executive Patrick Pouyanne.
NEW DELHI : French energy major TotalEnergies has put on hold its participation in Adani Group’s $50 billion hydrogen project. While the partnership with the Adani group on the hydrogen project was announced in June last year, TotalEnergies has not yet signed a contract, the French group’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said at an earnings call.
As per the June 2022 announcement, TotalEnergies was to take 25% equity in Adani New Industries Ltd (ANIL), the Adani Group firm which is investing $ 50 billion over 10 years in a green hydrogen ecosystem that includes an initial production capacity of 1 million tonnes before 2030.
“Obviously, the hydrogen project will be put on hold until we have clarity,” Pouyanne said. “It was announced, nothing was signed. It doesn’t exist,” he said, referring to the hydrogen venture. “Mr Adani has other things to deal with now, it’s just good sense to pause things while the audit goes forward.”
This announcement by TotalEnergies comes as Adani Group is facing allegations of stock price manipulation, financial fraud, and corporate governance issues among other things following the scathing report published by the US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research on January 24, 2023.
TotalEnergies, which has an exposure of $3.1 billion in the Gautam Adani-promoted Adani group, will wait for the result of an audit launched by the conglomerate in response to the allegations. Last week it had said that Adani Group would hire one of the ‘big four’ (Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC) accounting firms to carry out a general audit.
TotalEnergies has a 37.4% stake in Adani Total Gas and 19.75% in Adani Green Energy. Shares of Adani Total Gas have fallen over 64% in past 10 trading sessions. On Wednesday, it fell 5% to hit an intraday low — also its 52-week low — of Rs 1,394. Similarly, shares of Adani Green have lost over 60% of their value during this period and hit a 52-week low of Rs 801 on Wednesday. “Adani Green is still worth twice as much as we invested, Adani Gas is worth eight times more. Our accounting is healthy, there was due diligence before and due diligence after,” said Pouyanne.