Adani Gas emerged as the leader by winning bids for 22 geographical areas (GAs) out of the 78 announced as on Friday under the ninth round of city gas distribution (CGD) licensing. While the company has won 13 GAs as an individual company, the maximum by any firm, its consortium Indian Oil-Adani Gas has been awarded nine GAs. The other top winners so far include Bharat Gas Resources (an arm of BPCL) with 11 GAs, followed by Torrent Gas with 9 GAs and Indian Oil with 7 GAs.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) had offered 86 GAs under the 9th round of CGD which cover 174 districts in 22 states and Union Territories i.e. 24% of India’s area and 29% of population. The government aims to connect 1 crore households with piped gas by 2020, which is in line with increasing the share of natural gas in the primary energy basket to 15% from 6% over the next few years. The 9th bid round was held on changed parameters after one-paisa bids spoilt the initial auction rounds. Bidders have been asked to quote the number of CNG stations to be set up and the number of domestic cooking gas connections to be given in the first eight years of operation.
On August 3, 2018, the PNGRB approved issuance of letters of intent (LOIs) to 18 successful bidders for 48 GAs out of the 86 GAs put up for auction to provide licences to sell compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped cooking gas. On Friday, it released the second list for another 30 GAs which were awarded to 10 companies or consortia.
The remaining seven GAs are being evaluated and one is sub-judice, outcome of these will be announced in due course, the regulator said in a release. DK Sarraf, chairperson of the PNGRB, told FE that issuance of LOIs for the rest of the GAs will be considered on August 16, 2018. A total of 406 bids from 38 entities were received by the PNGRB for the 86 GAs put up for auction. Of these, 37 bids were not considered on various grounds, including being unreasonably low or high, the release said.