STOCK Gautam Adani
Indian billionaire Gautam Adani Image Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: he Adani Group will be building three giga factories in India leading to one of the worlds most integrated green-energy value chains, Gautam Adani, Chairman of the Adani Group, said.

Speaking at an event where he was conferred the USIBC Global Leadership Award, Adani said this will extend from polysilicon to solar modules, complete manufacturing of Wind Turbines, and the manufacturing of Hydrogen Electrolyzers.

Target: 45 GW of renewable power

"As a result, we will generate an additional 45 GW of renewable energy to add to our existing 20 GW capacity, as well as 3 million tonnes of hydrogen, all of which will be completed before 2030," Adani said.

This value chain will be fully indigenous and aligned with the geopolitical needs of our nation. "However, I believe we can further accelerate our goals with support from companies in the US that are willing to work with us," Adani said.

He said the semiconductor industry is a classic example with more engineers deployed in India than anywhere else in the world, and yet, India has no semiconductor plant. India cannot remain dependent on global supply chains that are based on semiconductor nationalism and will need US support with technology transfer.


Adani said the term deglobalisation gained prominence because of the divisions that came about as a result of the pandemic. "We must never allow this to happen again, given the mistrust it creates. Vaccine collaboration between our nations must be high on our priority list and needs to be formalized in a mutually beneficial way," he added.

Likewise, defence and cyber are two critical areas that the US and India must work on. Trust comes from collaboration in these areas. India needs support in both these areas and, at this time, we are just skimming the surface. These are two essential areas where our partnerships must span technology transfer to be able to build mutual confidence, Adani said.

He urged the USIBC to facilitate a broader platform that brings together executives from similar industries on both sides on a regular basis.

There are a lot of gains to divide with the size of the two economies beginning to converge as we approach 2050, Adani added.

Adani now 3rd-richest, after Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos

The Indian businessman, a college dropout who first tried his luck as a diamond trader before turning to coal, has become the world's third-richest person.

It's the first time an Asian person has broken into the top three of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index - fellow citizen Mukesh Ambani and China's Jack Ma never made it that far. With a $137.4 billion fortune, Adani has overtaken France's Bernard Arnault and now trails just Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos of the US in the ranking.

Adani, 60, has spent the past few years expanding his coal-to-ports conglomerate, venturing into everything from data centers to cement, media and alumina. The group now owns India's largest private-sector port and airport operator, city-gas distributor and coal miner.

While its Carmichael mine in Australia has been criticized by environmentalists, it pledged in November to invest $70 billion in green energy to become the world's largest renewable-energy producer.

As his empire has expanded to one of the world's largest conglomerates fueling the remarkable wealth gains, concerns have grown over the rapid growth. Adani's deals spree has been predominantly funded with debt and his empire is "deeply over-leveraged," CreditSights said in a report this month.

Some lawmakers and market watchers have also raised concerns over opaque shareholder structures and a lack of analyst coverage at Adani Group companies. Yet the shares have soared - some of them more than 1,000% since 2020, with valuations hitting 750 times earnings - as the tycoon focused on areas that Prime Minister Narendra Modi deems crucial to meeting India's long-term goals.

The pivot to green energy and infrastructure has won investments from firms including Warburg Pincus and TotalEnergies SE, helping Adani enter the echelons previously dominated by US tech moguls. The surge in coal in recent months has further turbocharged his ascent.

All told, Adani has added $60.9 billion to his fortune in 2022 alone, five times more than anyone else. He first overtook Ambani as the richest Asian in February, became a centibillionaire in April and surpassed Microsoft Corp.'s Bill Gates as the world's fourth-richest person last month.

Adani was able to move past some of the world's richest US billionaires partly because they've recently boosted their philanthropy. Gates said in July he was transferring $20 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, while Warren Buffett has already donated more than $35 billion to the charity.

The two, along with Gates's ex-wife Melinda French Gates, started the Giving Pledge initiative in 2010, vowing to give away most of their fortunes in their lifetimes. The billions of dollars spent on philanthropy has pushed them lower on the Bloomberg wealth ranking. Gates is now fifth and Buffett is sixth.

Adani, too, has increased his charitable giving. He pledged in June to donate $7.7 billion for social causes to mark his 60th birthday.