By Sumit Khanna
AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) -India’s Gujarat state on Wednesday said it has signed initial investment agreements worth $86 billion with 58 companies including steelmaker ArcelorMittal’s joint venture and others operating in sectors such as energy, oil and gas, and chemicals.
Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been signing these agreements ahead of its biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit which is scheduled to take place in state capital Gandhinagar from Jan. 10 to Jan. 12.
The summit is expected to draw a record number of foreign and domestic investors to the western state this month in what is being seen as Modi’s big push to promote investment in the South Asian nation just months ahead of its national election, where he will seek a third term.
The companies that signed the pacts included ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India, which signed a 1.14 trillion rupees ($13.68 billion) pledge for a green hydrogen project, an integrated steel plant and expansion of its existing steel manufacturing capacity in the state, according to a state government document.
NTPC Renewable Energy Limited proposed an investment of 900 billion rupees ($10.80 billion) to create 15 gigawatt (GW) renewable energy parks and projects to meet the agricultural sector’s power needs, a senior Industries Department official said.
NTPC also proposed a further investment of $8.40 billion for fuel cell electric vehicle mobility, hydrogen blending with natural gas, production of green chemicals such as ammonia and methanol, the official added.
Torrent Power similarly signed an agreement to invest 474 billion Indian rupees ($5.69 billion) to create solar power projects with 3,450 MW and 7,000 MW capacity, green hydrogen and ammonia manufacturing plants, and distribution networks in cities including Ahmedabad and Surat.
NTPC, Torrent and ArcelorMittal did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The state government had signed similar investment agreements totalling $18.75 billion last month.
(Reporting by Sumit Khanna, Writing by Sakshi Dayal; Editing by Louise Heavens and Alex Richardson)