Essar: investing in hydrogen, building LNG terminal

Armed with a 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, of 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. Post this, the group has embarked on a new phase of the growth cycle, he said.

It already has a USD 15bn revenue and an EBITDA of USD 1bn and the new businesses it is undertaking would add to it.

Essar had over the years invested Rs 2 lakh crore in 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 13bn), which was the largest FDI in the sector.

Its steel plant got sold to the ArcelorMittal-led group in insolvency proceedings.

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