BPCL told to sell its stake in Sabarmati Gas

Vol 17, PW 24 (17 Jul 14) Midstream & Downstream

You’d be forgiven for thinking GSPC wants a monopoly on the gas retail business in Gujarat.

Last year it acquired BG's south Gujarat retailer Gujarat Gas and in our last issue we wrote how it wants to buy GAIL's 25% in Vadodara Gas Company. PETROWATCH now learns GSPC wants to buy Bharat Petroleum's 25% stake in Sabarmati Gas.

Tapan Ray, GSPC managing director, wrote to BPCL last month (June) directing the company to hand over its stake at a ‘mutually agreed price’. “We want the full and final merger of Sabarmati into GSPC,” a GSPC source tells us.

“BPCL should not veto this move.” Gujarat energy minister Saurabh Patel scolded BPCL chairman and managing director S.

Varadarajan over Sabarmati's poor performance when they met in Gandhinagar on June 27. Patel also told Varadarajan to ensure BPCL directors clear the stake sale promptly.

Patel was upset that under BPCL management there has been "neither growth nor new areas covered," says a source. Another source defends BPCL.

“However hard BPCL tries GSPC won't be happy," he says. "That's how GSPC keeps JV partners under pressure.

” GSPC managing director Ray is Sabarmati Gas chairman but Sabarmati managing director BB Mandan from BPCL supervises operations. GSPC is India's largest gas retailer with sales of more than 10m cm/d in Gujarat.

Calls made to BPCL chairman Varadarajan were not returned.

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