France’s oil major TotalEnergies said that a hydrogen project worth $50 billion with the Adani Group has been put on hold, reported PTI. However, the firm has added that its $3.1 billion investment in the gas and renewables units of Adani Group were healthy.
In an earnings call on Wednesday, TotalEnergies’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said that while the partnership with Adani Group was announced in June last year, TotalEnergies has not yet signed a contract.
“Obviously, the hydrogen project will be put on hold until we have clarity” from Adani Group on the allegation levelled by US short-seller Hindenburg Research, Pouyanne said.
According to a June 2022 announcement, TotalEnergies was supposed to acquire a 25 per cent equity stake in Adani New Industries Ltd. (ANIL), a company owned by the Adani Group that is investing $50 billion over ten years in a green hydrogen ecosystem that includes an initial production capacity of 1 million tonnes before 2030.
The Adani Group has lost more than USD 100 billion in market value since US short-seller Hindenburg Research accused it of stock manipulation and accounting fraud. The Adani Group has denied any wrongdoing and has threatened to sue Hindenburg.
According to PTI, TotalEnergies’s chief executive said, “It was announced, nothing was signed. It doesn’t exist…Adani has other things to deal with now, it’s just good sense to pause things while the audit goes forward.”
The energy giant also has stakes in assets in the group, including Adani Total Gas Ltd. and Adani Green Energy Ltd, which represent 2.4 per cent of the firm’s capital employed last year, according to a report By MoneyControl.
In recent days shares of the companies have slumped. TotalEnergies’ Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said, “These companies have assets and revenue” and are healthy. He said the company conducted due diligence before and after investing in the Adani companies.