India's Gujarat state signs deals worth $86 bln ahead of investment summit


By Sumit Khanna

AHMEDABAD, India, Jan 3 (Reuters) - India's Gujarat state on Wednesday signed initial investment agreements worth 7.17 trillion Indian rupees ($86.07 billion) with 58 companies operating in sectors such as energy, oil and gas, and chemicals, its government said.

The home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat 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 companies that signed the pacts included NTPC Renewable Energy Limited NTPC.NS, which proposed an investment of 900 billion Indian 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 700 billion Indian rupees ($8.40 billion) for fuel cell electric vehicle mobility, hydrogen blending with natural gas, production of green chemicals such as ammonia and methanol, and 5GW hydrogen-based energy storage projects, the official added.

Torrent Power TOPO.NS 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.

Both NTPC and Torrent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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 state government had signed similar investment agreements totalling $18.75 billion last month.

($1 = 83.3012 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Sumit Khanna, Writing by Sakshi Dayal; Editing by Louise Heavens and Alex Richardson)


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