Adani Gas, Torrent Gas and Bharat Gas Resources (an arm of BPCL) have won six geographical areas (GAs) each under the 9th round of bidding for city gas distribution (CGD). The joint venture of Adani Gas and Indian Oil won five GAs whereas the latter individually came up as the top bidder for four GAs.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) on Friday approved 18 successful bidders for 48 GAs, out of the 86 GAs put up for auction under the round. The successful bidders will be issued licences to sell compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped cooking gas.
The PNGRB said the bids for the remaining GAs were being evaluated and the outcome of the exercise would be announced soon. The regulator had earlier said it was expediting the evaluation process and intended to award all GAs by September.
The 86 GAs offered under the 9th round of CGD 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 nineth bid round was being 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.
The winners include GAIL Gas (3 GAs), Megha Engineering and Infrastructures (3 GAs), Unison Enviro (2 GAs), Green Gas (2 GAs) and Tripura Natural Gas (2 GAs). One GA each has been awarded to Think Gas, IRM Energy, Gujarat Gas, Maharashtra Natural Gas, Essel Gas and Indraprastha Gas. In addition, a consortium of Assam Gas, Oil India and GAIL Gas won two GAs and a consortium of AG&P LNG Marketing and Atlantic Gulf & Pacific was awarded one GA.
BPCL had emerged as the top individual bidder in the 9th round of bidding for city gas distribution (CGD) licences with bids for 53 geographical areas (GAs), followed by Indian Oil (37), GAIL Gas (34), Adani Gas (32) and Torrent Gas (31). While HPCL had put in bids for 21 GAs, a consortium of Adani and Indian Oil had bid for 17 GAs.
While more than Rs 18,000 crore has so far been invested in the CGD business in the country, the latest round is expected to result in investments of Rs 70,000 crore.
The existing CGD operators include Indraprastha Gas and GAIL Gas, which serve population of 24 crore through 42 lakh domestic connections and 31 lakh CNG vehicles.