Saumya wants to sell its gas license for Mathura

Vol 16, PW 15 (21 Feb 13) People & Policy
     

Cash-strapped Saumya DSM Infratech has finally realised it is not cut out to be a gas retailer.

PETROWATCH learns Saumya is talking to a US-based individual of Indian origin H. Chaudhary to sell 100% in its gas network at Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.

If the deal goes through, Saumya will become the first company in India to sell its retail gas license. “We don’t have funds to carry on," confirms Saumya.

"We are talking to many companies to sell. We can’t give you names until we finalise the deal.

” Saumya will be looking to recover the Rs150cr ($27.7m) it invested to set up two CNG stations and lay 397-inch km of steel pipeline and 300-km of polyethylene pipeline. Saumya, according to an industry source, signed a MoU last month (January) with Chaudhary, formerly associated with Pittsburgh-based Thar Energy.

“Chaudhary is evaluating Saumya's business," adds a source. "If he finds it profitable he may buy it.

” Saumya blames its downfall on competition from state-owned GAIL Gas which is selling APM or subsidised gas at much cheaper rates in nearby Agra and Ferozabad. Saumya takes 30,000 cm/d R-LNG from GAIL at $22/mmbtu and sells piped gas to 30 small factories, including sari manufacturers and companies that produce bathroom fittings.

Saumya charges Rs40 to Rs45/cm for piped gas and sells CNG at Rs60/kg. But GAIL Gas sell CNG at Rs51/KG in Agra and piped gas to factories for Rs14 to Rs15/cm.

“We thought we could sell CNG to all buses passing through Mathura,” adds Saumya. “But buses don’t buy expensive gas from us.

We only sell CNG to auto-rickshaws.”