A joint venture of billionaire Gautam Adani-run group’s gas arm and Total of France on Friday walked away with the most 14 licenses to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households in the latest city gas bidding round, according to oil regulator PNGRB.
Adani Total Gas Ltd won city gas rights in 14 out of the 52 geographical areas (GAs) for which Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) declared results on Friday.
Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL) won 13 GAs, while state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was adjudged winner in 8 GAs.
As many as 65 GAs were offered for bidding in the 11th city gas distribution (CGD) licensing round. Of this, bids were received for 61 GAs but results for only 52 GAs were announced on Friday.
The results of the remaining 9 GAs have been withheld due to the model code of conduct being in place in Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand for assembly elections.
PNGRB has written to the Election Commission and results of the 9 GAs which fall in the two states will be announced once its approval is received, officials said.
IOC cornered high potential GAs such as Jammu and Madurai.
The hotly contested GA of Nagpur went to a consortium that included HCG (KCE) Pvt Ltd and Haryana City Gas.
Adani Total won three GAs each in Assam and Chhattisgarh, four in Maharashtra including Amravati, one each in Jharkhand and Odisha and two in Madhya Pradesh.
IOC won city gas license for Kurnool/Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, Jammu, Beed/Jalgaon in Maharashtra, Kikar and Dharmapuri in Rajasthan, Madurai and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and Mednipore in West Bengal.
Privatisation-bound Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) won license for 4 GAs.
“Letter of Intent to successful bidders above 52 GAs has been issued on January 28, 2022,” PNGRB said in a statement.
At the last date of bidding on December 15, 2021, 439 bids were received from 26 bidders for 61 GAs.
IOC had bid for 51 out of 61 GAs while Adani Total Gas Ltd had bid for 50 GAs. A consortium led by Think Gas and BPCL had put in bids for 44 GAs each and Megha submitted bids for 43.
GAIL Gas Ltd, the city gas arm of state gas utility GAIL India Ltd, put in bids for 30 but won just 1 GA.
Torrent Gas Ltd put in 28 bids but did not win any.
PNGRB said the four GAs that did not receive any bids were in Chhattisgarh.
“438 bids out of 439 bids received were technically accepted and the financial bid of 438 bids was opened on January 14,” it said, adding based on bids evaluations, LoIs have been approved for 13 successful entities for 52 GAs.
While Assam Gas Company won three licences, Dinesh Engineers Ltd bagged licences for 2 GAs.
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Think Gas Distribution Pvt Ltd won one licence each.
PNGRB had bid out 65 GAs, including Jammu, Nagpur, Pathankot and Madurai, in the latest licensing round. Four GAs in Chhattisgarh did not receive a single bid.
HPCL had bid for 37 GAs while Indraprastha Gas Ltd the firm that retails CNG in the national capital and adjoining areas — bid for 15 GAs, Gujarat Gas for 15 and Assam Gas for 6 GAs.
The bids were decided on the basis of those offering to give most city gas connections and those setting the largest number of CNG retail outlets.
PNGRB had last month stated that as much as Rs 80,000 crore investment is envisaged in setting up city gas infrastructure in the 61 GAs.
The 65 GAs offered in the 11th bid round are spread over 215 districts in 19 states and one Union Territory, covering 26 per cent of India’s population and 33 per cent of its area.
Currently, there are 228 geographical areas authorised by PNGRB in 27 states and UTs covering about 53 per cent of the country’s geographical area and 70 per cent of its population.
In the last city gas distribution bidding round (the 10th CGD bidding round), 50 GAs were authorised for the development of the CGD network.
In the current round, 215 districts clubbed into 65 GAs are being offered. Bids were received for 61 GAs, according to PNGRB.
During 2018 and 2019, PNGRB gave out licences to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to household kitchens in 136 GAs. This extended coverage of the city gas network to 406 districts and around 70 per cent of the country’s population.
The push for city gas expansion is part of the government’s plan for raising the share of natural gas in the country’s energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from the current 6.3 per cent.
While 86 GAs, made up of 174 districts, were offered for bidding in the 9th round that concluded in August 2018, 50 GAs, comprising 124 districts, were offered in the 10th round in 2019.