Indian billionaire Gautam Adani said his Adani Group will build the world’s largest hybrid renewable energy plant at 20GW in record time as the conglomerate battles back from a controversy over financial malpractice allegations.
Adani told the group he founded and chairs' annual general meeting that its renewables unit Adani Green is “building the largest hybrid renewable park in the world right in the middle of the desert” covering 72,000 acres in Khavda in Gujarat state.
The project will have a capacity of 20GW as part of a push by Adani as it focuses “on producing the lowest cost electrons at scale”.
The company plans to build the vast project “faster than any in history”, added Adani, who reaffirmed the group’s target to have 45GW of renewables in place by the end of the decade, up from 8GW now.
The vast project is seen as s a statement of intent by Adani, one of Asia's richest people, who earlier this year suffered a shares rout that wiped up to $100bn from the value of his conglomerate’s companies.
The fall was sparked by a report from a short-selling US research group called Hindenburg ahead of a $2.5bn share issue by its Adani Enterprises unit, with extraordinary claims that the Adani conglomerate had engaged in “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud”.
Adani has consistently denied any malpractice and on Tuesday again labelled the Hindenberg report a "deliberate and malicious attempt aimed at damaging our reputation and generating profits through a short-term drive-down of our stock prices", adding that official reports had exonerated the group.
The group’s shares have yet to recover from the plunge, however, and the row damaged Adani’s plans to form international partnerships, with oil giant TotalEnergies saying it would pause a major investment in the conglomerate’s hydrogen business until things became clearer.