Reliance Industries Ltd on Tuesday said it has signed a pact with Brookfield Asset Management to explore opportunities for setting up factories to manufacture renewable energy and decarbonisation equipment in Australia.
Brookfield will work with Reliance to explore avenues of direct capital investment and evaluate setting up operations in Australia to make or assemble renewable energy equipment and supply, the company said in a statement.
The Australia investment will complement giga-factories that Reliance is building at Jamnagar in Gujarat to produce solar cells and modules, energy storage batteries, fuel cells and green hydrogen.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Reliance and Brookfield "aims to both accelerate and de-risk Australia's energy transition by enabling it to locally produce clean energy equipment such as PV modules, long duration battery storage and components for wind energy," it said.
Under the terms of the MoU, Brookfield will work with Reliance to explore avenues of direct capital investment and development of skills, knowledge and expertise in the renewable energy sector of Australia to facilitate the nation's transition to a net-zero future.
"Reliance has strong expertise in solar panel technology and long duration battery storage technology. It is currently in the process of setting up one of the world's largest integrated renewable energy manufacturing facilities in India," the statement said.
The MoU with Reliance is one of the key initiatives being undertaken by Brookfield to bring global manufacturing technology and expertise to Australia.
In March this year, it signed a binding agreement with EIG to acquire Origin Energy. The proposed acquisition is currently going through the relevant approvals processes.
As part of its proposed acquisition of the Origin Energy Markets division, Brookfield along with its institutional partners and global institutional investors GIC and Temasek have set out a plan to invest between A$20 billion and A$30 billion over the next ten years to accelerate its energy transition.
"The MoU with Reliance intends to support this investment to ensure consistent and adequate supply of the clean energy equipment required to develop up to 14 GW of new, large-scale generation and storage capacity in Australia," it said.
Independent analysis undertaken for Brookfield indicates the establishment of onshore sovereign manufacturing capability for the energy transition has the potential to create approximately 18,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Luke Edwards, Brookfield Renewable Head of Australia, said: "The energy transition creates an opportunity to bring advanced manufacturing processes created offshore to Australia, which would secure the supply of critical equipment for the transition to help drive down Australia's emissions faster and contribute significantly to job creation."
"We want to help kickstart a new era in local manufacturing that will benefit domestic renewables developers, including Origin Energy Markets, and many communities around Australia.
"We are establishing these types of global partnerships in manufacturing now to allow us to get started as quickly as possible given the ever-reducing timeline for Australia to reach its first emissions-reductions targets in 2030," Edwards said.
Anant Ambani, Director, Reliance New Energy Ltd, said: "At Reliance, we are firmly committed to the mission of creating a global clean energy ecosystem that is both beneficial to humanity and compatible with nature. Towards this end, Reliance is pursuing opportunities of investment in India and globally with great enthusiasm and passion.
"We are confident that Reliance and Brookfield will explore avenues in green energy in Australia, accelerating the nation's transition to a Net Zero future and providing a fillip to the global green energy movement."
Brookfield is uniquely placed to support these manufacturing initiatives given its track record in committing long-term capital to enable the energy transition, and its innovative approach to large-scale investments in re-shoring of essential and strategic manufacturing processes and supply chains such as its investment in the USD 30 billion Intel Chip plant in Nevada.