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Reliance Industries—controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani—has signed an agreement to partner with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to build a $2 billion petrochemical production facility in Abu Dhabi as the Indian energy giant makes its maiden investment in the Middle East.
In partnership with ADNOC and United Arab Emirates sovereign wealth fund ADQ, Reliance will build a world-scale petrochemicals factory at the Ta’ziz industrial complex in Ruwais, about 240 kilometers west of Abu Dhabi.
“Reliance is a valued strategic partner and our collaboration at Ta’ziz underscores the important role of industrial and energy cooperation as means of strengthening deep-rooted ties between the UAE and India,” Al Jaber, minister of industry and advanced technology and ADNOC group CEO, said in a statement. “We are building on this partnership and the progress at Ta’ziz to unlock more opportunities and to drive UAE’s industrial and manufacturing growth.”
The Ta’ziz facility will produce chemicals such as chlor-alkali, ethylene dichloride and polyvinyl chloride, the partners said on Tuesday. It will be the first such facility in UAE, which is developing the Ta’ziz industrial complex as part of initiatives to make higher-value petroleum products for domestic consumption as well as for export to Southeast Asia and Africa.
“This joint venture is a testimony to the strong and growing ties between India and the UAE and will be a benchmark for more such projects built on strengths of the two nations,” said Ambani, who signed the shareholders agreement with Al Jaber at the ADNOC headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
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Ambani also met Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, to explore opportunities to develop renewable energy and green hydrogen projects with partners in the country. Masdar is spearheading UAE’s ambitious plan to become a global clean energy powerhouse.
Led by Ambani, who made his fortunes from oil refining and petrochemicals, Reliance is investing $80 billion to transform India’s biggest conglomerate by market cap into a green energy company. Ambani is India’s second-richest person with a net worth of $106 billion, according to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires List. He also has interests in telecommunications and retail. (Disclosure: Reliance Industries owns Network18, which publishes Forbes India.)