Sitting on a cash chest of Rs. 85,000 crore, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) — that has committed an investment of $10 billion (Rs. 63,400 crore) in the US to acquire various shale gas assets — is now looking at investing more money to acquire big coal mines in the US.
“The company is seriously looking at acquiring some coal mines in the US,” PMS Prasad, executive director, RIL, who is also on the board of RIL, told HT. “We continue to look at opportunities....at home, there is a huge coal shortage and acquiring coal mines in the US makes a good play...we are looking for the same,” he said.
RIL has already invested $6.1 billion (Rs. 38,674 crore) in acquiring shale gas assets in the US and plans to invest another $4 billion (Rs. 25,360 crore) in the next three years.
“The investment of $10 billion is what the company has already committed...we will be investing more money as we continue to look for more acquisition opportunities in the fertiliser, refining, petrochemicals and power space...the only condition is that opportunity has to be good in terms of returns to the company,” he added.
Talking about the company’s strategy to utilise the shale gas produced out of its assets in the US, Prasad said RIL would rather set up a gas-based fertiliser, petrochemicals or power plant in the US and bring home the end products than first convert the cheap shale gas into costlier LNG and ship the same to India.
RIL’s share of natural gas output from its US shale gas operations has reached over 11 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) against 14 mmscmd from the KG-D6 fields.