New Delhi: Reliance Industries is seeking partnership with state-run fuel retailers Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum for reviving its shut petrol pumps and boost aviation refuelling business.
Reliance has written to three retailers seeking partnership in both fuel retailing and aviation services businesses, industry sources said.
The company had shut all of its 1,432 petrol pumps in the country a year ago after sales dropped to almost nil as it could not match the subsidised price offered by public sector competition.
Reliance is keen on reopening these outlets with PSUs help. The company may want the state-run firms to supply petrol and diesel to its retail outlets as the only-for-exports status for both its refineries at Jamnagar in Gujarat makes it prohibitive for it to sell fuel domestically.
A company spokesperson did not return call for comments.
Jamnagar-1 is an Export Oriented Unit while Jamnagar-2 is an SEZ refineries. The EOU status of 660,000 barrels per day Jamnagar-1 will end in March 2010 and supplying fuel domestically from it would attract double excise and customs duties, jacking up rates by Rs9-10 a litre.
A source said the state-run firms have not responded to the proposal by Reliance, which may want to retain ownership and operatorship of the petrol pumps.
Reliance, which entered the high-growth aviation fuel segment in 2007 and has presence at 14 airports in India, may want an infrastructure sharing arrangement with the PSUs who are a dominant jet fuel re-fueller at airports.
IOC, BPCL and HPCL own aviation turbine fuel (ATF) storages and hydrants at major airports and Reliance may want to share these to sell fuel to airlines.
Reliance has refuelling facilities at 14 non-metro airports and work at three other airports was in advanced stage of completion.
All major domestic airlines and few major international airlines (Emirates and Qatar Airways) have started refuelling from Reliance fuelling stations. It also operates a fuel storage and service facility at the Shamshabad international airport at Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.
Sources said the company may want access to PSU facilities and barter fuel at some airports.
None of the three companies has till now shown any inclination for a partnership.