State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has won licences to retail gas in 10 cities while Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) won rights for nine towns as oil regulator PNGRB announced winners for the 10th city gas bid round.
IOC won city gas distribution licences for nine cities, most of them in Bihar and Jharkhand, on its own and one in a joint venture with Adani Gas, according to a press statement issued by Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).
HPCL, a subsidiary of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), won licences to retail CNG to automobiles and piped natural gas to households in nine cities in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
A little known consortium of LNG Marketing Pte Ltd and Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Company of Manila Inc won rights for nine cities in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala.
Gujarat Gas Ltd won rights for six cities while state gas utility GAIL India's unit GAIL Gas Ltd won rights for four. Indraprastha Gas Ltd and Torrent Gas won rights for three cities each while Adani Gas and Bharat Gas Resources Ltd, a subsidiary of state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), bagged two cities each.
This is the second auction in a row that IOC has dominated. In the previous 9th bid round, IOC had won licences for eight cities on its own and another nine in a joint venture with Adani Gas.
Adani Gas had in the 9th round won licences for 13 cities on its own while Bharat Gas Resources Ltd bagged 11 areas. Gujarat-based Torrest Gas Pvt Ltd got nine cities.
While 86 Geographical Areas or GAs, made up of 174 districts, were offered for bidding in the 9th round that concluded in August last year, 50 GAs, comprising of 124 districts, were offered in the 10th round.
"225 bids from 25 entities were received up to February 5, 2019, i.e., the bid closing date (for the 10th round). Based upon the bids evaluations, PNGRB in its 88th Board meeting held on February 26, 2019, approved the issuance of Letters of Intent (LoI) to the 12 successful entities for 50 GAs," the PNGRB statement said.
Prior to this, city gas distribution (CGD) licences had been given for 178 GAs covering 280 districts (263 complete and 17 part) spread over 26 states and UTs. These cover about 50 per cent of India's population (as per 2011 census) and 35 per cent of its geographical area.
In addition, CGD operations are being carried out in five districts, authorisation for which is either under consideration of PNGRB or sub-judice.
"With the completion of 10th CGD Bidding Round, CGD would be available in 228 GAs comprising 402 districts spread over 27 States and Union Territories covering approximately 70 per cent of India's population and 53 per cent of its geographical area," the statement said.
As per the commitment made by the various entities in the 50 GAs approved for issuance of LoIs in 10th CGD Bidding Round, 2.02 crore domestic PNG (piped natural gas) connections and 3,578 CNG (compressed natural gas) stations for transport sector would be installed largely during a period of 8 years up to March 31, 2029, in addition to 58,177 inch-km of steel pipeline.
"Further, the entities would be authorized to supply natural gas to industrial and commercial units in their respective GAs as per the limits provided in the CGD Authorisation Regulations," it added.