Sole bidders welcome in all future CGD rounds

Vol 20, PW 6 (01 Dec 16) Midstream & Downstream

If you're thinking of bidding under the eighth gas licensing round launched on November 22 you stand a good chance of winning a city even if you bid alone.

Under PMO pressure the PNGRB has scrapped its policy of refusing to award licences to sole bidders. Look at cities in the latest round and it becomes clear why: Karnal, Ambala and Kurukshetra in Haryana; South Goa and Yanam in union territory Puducherry; Bulandshahr (part) and Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh and Kolhapur in Maharashtra.

There's a good chance several will get single bids. Yanam faced this problem when offered in the second round, as did Karnal in the fourth round and Bulandshahr in the fifth round.

But as long as they get at least one bidder the PNGRB will award these cities in this round. "Scrapping single bid areas and taking them to the next round is a waste," says a GAIL source.

The PNGRB first awarded a city to a sole bidder on May 12, 2016 when it gave Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh to Bharat Petroleum. Soon after Bhatinda in Punjab went to GSPL on May 19, Ratnagiri in Maharashtra to Unison on August 24, and Dhar in Madhya Pradesh to Perigon on November 7.

A GAIL source says single bids or multiple bids aren't important. More important is if a city has a gas pipeline nearby making a retail network feasible.