As it embarks on a new phase of expansion, the diversified conglomerate Essar Group will invest billions of dollars in establishing a green hydrogen plant, the world’s first green refinery, and developing an LNG and electric ecosystem to decarbonize long-haul heavy trucks, according to a top official.

With a significantly lighter balance sheet after repaying Rs 1,40,000 crore in loans over the last four years, the group now enjoys a robust revenue stream of more than Rs 1 lakh crore from existing operations.

“Essar is charting its path to resurgence by investing in ecosystems for sustainable growth in India and beyond,” stated Prashant Ruia, Director at Essar Capital, during India Energy Week.

Essar aims to play a key role in crafting a cleaner future by focusing on three major themes: decarbonisation, decentralisation, and digitization.

“As India emerges as the world’s fastest-growing and third-largest economy, Essar is dedicated to fulfilling climate commitments and promoting green growth,” added the prime minister.

Essar will invest USD 3.6 billion in one of the world’s largest low-carbon (blue hydrogen) facilities and the world’s first green refinery, he stated, without providing any other information.

It also plans to build a 1 gigawatt green hydrogen facility in Gujarat.

In terms of green mobility solutions, Essar is working to create an LNG and electric ecosystem to decarbonize long-haul heavy trucks, thereby contributing to a cleaner transportation industry.

In addition, he stated that the group is extracting gas from coal seams in a West Bengal block.

Its arm, Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Limited (EOGEPL), India’s coal bed methane industry leader, accounts for nearly 65 percent of total coal bed methane production and aims to increase its contribution to total gas production to 5% within the next five years, he said.

Ruia did not disclose any information about his investments in green mobility or hydrogen facilities.

“With these initiatives, Essar is at the forefront of driving the nation’s vision of energy transition and sustainable growth,” stated the prime minister.

Separately, in a post on X, Ruia wrote: “Excited to be back at @IndiaEnergyWeek, where powerful talks are forging a sustainable future. Hon’ble Prime Minister @narendramodi ji’s goal for India’s economic rise and path to become the world’s third-largest economy is genuinely inspirational. I had the privilege of participating in the round table chaired by the Prime Minister. His astute perspective will undoubtedly persuade global leaders to invest in India’s tremendous #energytransition potential.”

Essar has spent Rs 2 lakh crore over the years in a variety of sectors, including ports, steel plants, oil refining and gasoline retailing, power production, mining, shipping, and telecom. It sold its oil refinery in Vadinar, Gujarat, as well as its fuel retailing network, to a consortium led by Russia’s Rosneft for around Rs 86,000 crore (USD 13 billion), the sector’s largest foreign direct investment.

Its steel plant was sold to an ArcelorMittal-led company during insolvency proceedings.

Essar now holds companies in the primary industries of energy, metals and mining, infrastructure, services, and technology. In the energy sector, it has commercial interests in oil, gas, and coal bed methane exploration and production in India, Vietnam, and Nigeria; oil refining and retailing in the United Kingdom; and power generating in India and Canada.

The group’s total income today stands at approximately USD 15 billion. Its operations include a 10 million tonnes per year oil refinery in the United Kingdom, 12 trillion cubic feet of unconventional hydrocarbon reserves (including some producing fields) in India, an iron ore mine and pellet project in the United States, and a high-grade thermal coal mine with 72 million tonnes of proven reserves in Indonesia, among others.