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Monday, June 21, 2010

Mukesh Ambani assures gas to ADAG, lists priorities

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, Friday assured gas supplies from the Krishna-Godavari basin to power-generation firms led by younger brother Anil and hoped for “harmonious” ties between the two groups in the future.“With the legal dispute behind us, we hope for harmonious and constructive relations with ADAG (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group),” Mukesh Ambani told the 36th annual general meeting of his company here, referring to the prolonged battle over natural gas.Calling the Supreme Court verdict on Krishna-Godavari gas last month an “important development”, he said his group was committed to all aspects of the production sharing contract with the government, including supplies of hydrocarbon to end users.

“As and when the power plants of ADAG are ready, we will commence supplies subject to government granting allocations to these plants,” he said, amid applause from the shareholders, many of whom have stakes in both their groups.Clad in a dark suit, Mukesh Ambani opened the proceedings without much ado, even as his smiling mother Kokilaben, widow of the Reliance group founder Dhirubhai Ambani, and her elder daughter-in-law Nita watched.The Birla Matoshree Auditorium was jam-packed with nearly 4,000 people, and many more stood inside the hall and outside on the campus. There was excitement outside amid speculation that Anil Ambani may also attend the meeting.

Police kept tight security all around the venue even as shareholders lined up to enter after security checks at the main entrance.A huge gathering of journalists, both from print and electronic media, waited outside the auditorium for a glimpse of the members of the country’s numero uno business family make their annual public appearance.But the media was not allowed inside to cover the proceedings.

During his 45-minute address, Ambani dwelt upon the operations of each of the areas in which Reliance Industries has an interest, from petroleum to petrochemicals, and also spelt out the plans he has for some greenfield areas such as telecom and energy.He said Reliance Industries proposed mega-investments in coal-based power plants, adding that the acquisition of Infotel from the Nahatas was aimed at providing fourth generation (4G) telecom services in the country.Ambani also said that Reliance Foundation, a philanthropic effort of the group, was setting up a world-class university for both talented Indians and students from abroad, while a new state-of-the-art hospital will provide healthcare to the average citizen.

The other salient points of his address were:-Investments planned in polyester will be the largest capacity addition ever planned by the company-Outlay for petrochemicals will be the largest to be made anywhere in the world-Reliance will build one of the largest coke gasification facilities in the world-The company intends to build significant position in the global shale gas business-Five-fold growth predicted for the company’s interests in retail trade industry.-Interests in energy will span coal, hydel and solar power projects.-To push telecom business, a wireless innovation centre planned in Mumbai.

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