More than 60 bid documents sold for CGD-III

Vol 14, PW 6 (09 Sep 10) Midstream & Downstream

Interest in India’s retail gas sector is heating up fast with everyone from construction companies to pipeline contractors wanting a slice of this ever-expanding cake.

PETROWATCH learns more than 60 bid documents have been sold so far for eight cities offered for auction in the country’s third city gas licensing round, launched by the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board on July 23. “Many new players have shown interest,” says an industry source, “including a few infrastructure companies.

” State-owned consultancy Engineers India, he adds, was among the first to buy documents, but it’s not clear for which cities. Construction company OMAXE bought documents for Panipat in Haryana, while pipeline laying contractor Corrtech has shown interest in four Gujarat cities.

Existing players Gujarat Gas, Hindustan Petroleum, GAIL Gas and Adani Energy also plan to bid. Interestingly, Bharat Petroleum, which has stakes in Delhi-based Indraprastha Gas and Gandhinagar-based Sabarmati Gas, has so far not bought documents for this round.

“We are aware of the third round and the areas on offer,” says a BPCL source. “We will decide soon whether to bid.

” IGL is planning to bid for the north Indian cities of Panipat, Ludhiana and Jalandhar. Panipat, in particular, is attracting much interest.

“More than 10 companies have bought bid documents for Panipat,” we learn. Of little doubt is that the PNGRB is certainly making a lot of money by selling bid documents.

Each costs Rs5000 ($107). In the months ahead it will get even richer.

Each company must pay a non-refundable application fee of Rs800,000 ($17,196) for each city where it bids. “No wonder they (PNGRB) can afford to pay their staff so well,” we hear.

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