Oil supermajor TotalEnergies and billionaire Gautam Adani set their sights on creating “the largest green hydrogen ecosystem in the world” as they formed a partnership with massive ambitions in the Indian market.

The French oil giant has agreed to buy a 25% stake in Adani New Industries (ANI), part of the tycoon’s Adani Group conglomerate, which plans to spend more than $50bn in the sector over 10 years and build capacity to produce a million tonnes of green H2 annually by 2030, said a statement.

Its first project will be a 2GW electrolyser powered by 4GW of wind and solar at a cost of $5bn to produce 1.3 million tonnes annually of urea for the Indian market, easing its current reliance on imports.

The plant will be the first move into large-scale renewable hydrogen production and associated green fuels, including fertilisers and methanol for domestic use and export, said the partners, who will both use ANI as the exclusive focus of their Indian green H2 commercialisation plans.

Adani, one of India’s richest people and Adani Group’s chairman, last year spelled out plans to amass a 45GW renewable energy portfolio by 2030 and produce the world’s cheapest green H2.

Adani said of the deal with the French group: “In our journey to become the largest green hydrogen player in the world, the partnership with TotalEnergies adds several dimensions that include R&D, market reach and an understanding of the end consumer.

“Our confidence in our ability to produce the world’s least expensive electron is what will drive our ability to produce the world’s least expensive green hydrogen.”

ANI has set out a vision to be a fully-integrated hydrogen player, with plans that stretch down the supply chain to the manufacture of both renewable power and green hydrogen production equipment, as well as operating plants themselves.

India has set a nationwide target to produce five million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030 and to become a production and export centre for renewable H2.

The government in New Delhi has agreed to waive inter-state electricity transmission fees for green hydrogen projects for 25 years and give projects priority status for grid connection.

Financial terms for TotalEnergies’ acquisition of the ANI stake were not disclosed.

The deal adds to a long-standing relationship between the French group and Adani that has also seen the former take a 20% share in Adani Green Energy, the conglomerate’s solar development business.

TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne said: “TotalEnergies’ entry into ANI is a major milestone in implementing our low carbon hydrogen strategy, where we want not only to decarbonise the hydrogen used in our European refineries by 2030, but also to pioneer the mass production of green hydrogen to meet demand, as the market will take off by the end of this decade.”