IOC eyes entire GSPC stake in Mundra LNG terminal
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Mumbai: Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOC) wants to buy Gujarat State Petroleum Corp.’s (GSPC) entire stake in the GSPC-Adani liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal being built in Mundra, Gujarat.
GSPC, however, is still weighing its options for selling the stake, said three people familiar with the situation.
GSPC LNG Ltd, a unit of GSPC, holds a 50% stake in the project with the Adani Group owning 25%; the remaining 25% has been earmarked to be sold to a strategic partner.
“We received an offer from GSPC LNG Ltd to buy their 50% stake in the Mundra terminal. But post that communication we haven’t heard from GSPC,” a senior Indian Oil official said on condition of anonymity.
“We don’t know if GSPC has approached other players in the market too for the stake sale,” the official added.
Indian Oil is in talks to buy GPSC’s stake in the under-construction Rs4,500 crore Mundra LNG import terminal in Gujarat, Press Trust of India reported on 24 July.
Indian Oil chairman B. Ashok had on 14 September, at a press conference in Mumbai, confirmed that the state-run oil company had received an offer from GSPC.
A GSPC group official said the company is mulling options for stake sales in various businesses because of financial stress that has pushed it to undertake corporate restructuring. The official didn’t want to be named.
GSPC did not reply to questions on the stake sale in the Mundra LNG terminal but said that as part of the corporate restructuring, the company has formed two subsidiaries.
“We intend to transfer our Major E&P (exploration and production) Portfolio to GSPC Offshore Ltd and the rest of the Business Portfolio to GSPC Energy Ltd. However, the finality of this would depend on various statutory and government approvals which are still pending,” J.N. Singh, chairman and managing director, GSPC Group, said in an emailed response.
Indian Oil already partners GSPC group company Gujarat State Petronet in three cross-country pipelines. It is also a partner of Adani Group in retail gas networks.
Indian Oil is aiming to be the market leader in supply and distribution of regassified LNG (R-LNG) and is targeting a capacity of 16 million tonnes per annum by 2020-21 with 15% of its revenue coming from this segment.
“With China and India together accounting for around 30% of world LNG demand, Indian Oil’s bet on LNG is not surprising,” an analyst with domestic brokerage said on condition of anonymity. Given growing demand for natural gas, Indian Oil’s “investments in the gas sector will hold it in an advantageous position,” the analyst added.