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Family-controlled Essar Energy hopes to expand overseas

Essar Energy, a subsidiary of the Mumbai-based family business Essar Group, is looking to expand its operations overseas, in a bid to meet rising demand for oil and gas.

Essar Energy, a subsidiary of the Mumbai-based family business Essar Group, is looking to expand its operations overseas, in a bid to meet rising demand for oil and gas.

Announcing the company’s six-month results on 22 August, Naresh Nayyar, Essar Energy’s chief executive officer, said: “While the focus is India, Essar Energy will also pursue opportunities overseas which support our strategy and deliver value to shareholders.”

A spokesman for the company told CampdenFB that Essar Energy is seeking new markets for fuel being developed in India, as well as possible acquisitions of oil and gas production facilities.

The company purchased the Stanlow refinery in northwest England from Royal Dutch Shell earlier this month, as part of its expansion efforts.

“The Stanlow refinery is well placed to bring in and distribute fuel,” said the spokesman.

Essar Energy reported strong profits, rising 84% in the six months to the end of June compared to the same period in 2010, while revenue was up 37% to $6.53 billion (€4.51 billion).

However, the company also said it was facing delays in setting up power plants and gaining approval for coal projects.

The Indian government has yet to give Essar Energy the deforestation permits needed to develop coal reserves so it can begin mining in a number of areas, while it is also awaiting a coal-bed methane approval.

The spokesman said the coal-bed approval “should come through soon”, adding he was “optimistic” the company will get permission for forest clearing, although he did not know when this is likely to happen.

However, the delays unnerved investors with Essar Energy’s shares falling to the lowest price since they were first traded in London last year.

Brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia founded the Essar Group in 1969 and still serve as chairman and vice chairman respectively. The family owns a majority share in all the group's subsidiary companies, with the Essar Group owning 76% of Essar Energy. 

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