Global energy behemoth ExxonMobil is reportedly in talks with an Indian company to initiate a partnership in the clean energy sector. The US-based company seems to have been attracted by the pro-clean energy policies in India and an increase interaction between Indian and American businesses over the last few years.
Indian business daily Mint recently reported that ExxonMobil could form a partnership with Indian government-owned GAIL (India) Limited. The news outlet, however, did not mention exactly what type of partnership this could be or what the two companies would exactly partner for.
GAIL, formerly Gas Authority of India Limited, is the largest natural gas processing and distribution company in India. The company is involved in natural gas transmission and supply to power plants, industries as well as small consumers across multiple cities in India. The company also supplies natural gas for the transportation sector across the country.
Apart from its core business of gas transmission and distribution GAIL also has renewable energy assets, largely wind energy-based. According its sustainability report for 2017-18, GAIL had an operational renewable energy capacity of 128 megawatts, including 118 megawatts of wind energy capacity.
GAIL had recently offered to acquire 874 megawatts of wind energy assets from a subsidiary of financially-troubled IL&FS group. GAIL has offered to around US$680 million to acquire the capacity.
While GAIL has not announced any large-scale and long-term solar and wind energy capacity addition plans, it did sign a memorandum of understanding with another public sector company, BHEL, to develop solar power projects. GAIL will be the project developer while BHEL will act as the EPC service provider.
GAIL could participate in the 12 gigawatt scheme announced by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) that specifically targets public sector companies. Companies will be able to bid for viability gap funding under this scheme to set up large-scale solar power projects.
Recently, Malaysia’s state-owned oil and gas company Petronas acquired one of India’s largest rooftop solar power developers Amplus Solar for around US$385 million.