Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani has said that the company will save substantial interest expenses going forward on its existing debt over the remaining servicing period, as it has refinanced syndicate and club loans worth $2.3 billion (about Rs 14,900 crore). Reliance Industries had a gross debt of Rs 1,96,601 crore as on March 31, most of which was taken to fund its fourth-generation telecom venture, Reliance Jio. “During the year, our company has successfully refinanced long-term financing of USD 1.75 billion syndicated loan and USD 550 million club loan aggregating to USD 2.3 billion resulting in substantial interest savings over the remaining life of these loans. This was the largest amount syndicated by RIL since 2007,” Ambani said RIL’s latest annual report.
He, however, did not give details of the interest saving. In the annual report for 2016-17, he said the company invested Rs 1,14,742 crore (USD 17.7 billion) during the fiscal, the highest ever by any corporate in India. “This capex has been funded while maintaining investment grade ratings. Our strong balance sheet and conservative financial profile are reflected through the strong credit ratings.
“We have maintained two notches above India’s sovereign rating for our international debt at BBB+ by S&P,” he said. The capex, he said, across energy and materials businesses and digital services will significantly enhance the company’s cash flows and reduce volatility in earnings in the coming years.
“I am happy to report that we have delivered superior financial performance, improved capital efficiency and continued strong project execution. Our focus on delivery and growth continued to yield results in what was a difficult year for many of our peers globally,” he said. RIL is preparing to start refinery off-gas cracker at Jamnagar, he said. Completion of hydrocarbon capex would significantly enhance cash flow.
Also, the focus is on expanding fuel retail business. The company has 1,221 operational petrol pumps and is focusing on expansion into new markets in FY2017-18. RIL plans to ramp up coal-bed methane (CBM) output from Sohagpur block in Madhya Pradesh over the next 15-18 months. Targeting to produce 2.5 million standard cubic meters per day of coal gas by 2018, RIL is on the way to becoming the largest unconventional natural gas producer in India, he said.
RIL’s twin refineries at Jamnagar have processed over 150 grades of crude till date and new initiatives were launched in 2016-17 to enhance flexibility and enable them to process crude with even heavier and higher contaminant content.