New Delhi:State-owned fuel retailers IOC and BPCL as well as the Adani group were the top bidders for gas retailing licences in the country’s biggest city gas distribution auction.

Of the 86 cities offered for retailing of CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households in the ninth round of bidding, IOC bid for 34 cities on its own and another 20 in partnership with Adani Gas Ltd, according to final bid information provided by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).

Adani Gas on its own bid for 32 cities. Bharat Gas Resources Ltd, a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), bid for as many as 53 cities while state-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd’s retailing arm, GAIL Gas Ltd, put in offers for 34 cities.

Gujarat-based Torrent Gas Pvt Ltd bid for 31 cities while Gujarat Gas Ltd put in offers for 21 areas. Petronet LNG Ltd, India’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer, sought to foray into the business by bidding for the licence in seven cities.

Indraprastha Gas Ltd, which retails CNG in the national capital region, put in bids for 11 cities.

According to the PNGRB, a total of 400 bids were received for the 86 permits on offer. As many as eight cities received single bids. Only Indian Oil Corp bid for Aurangabad in Bihar and Rewa in Madhya Pradesh.

Similarly, only Adani Gas bid for Balasore in Odisha; GAIL Gas for Gangan in Odisha; Bharat Gas Resources Ltd’s for Bidar in Karnataka and Amethi in Uttar Pradesh; IOC-Adani combine’s for Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat Gas’ bid for Narmada in Gujarat.

Bidding for the round closed on 10 July, in which 174 districts in 22 states and Union Territories were clubbed into 86 permits.

Essel Infraprojects Ltd has put in seven bids. Other bidders included Mahanagar Gas Ltd, H-Energy, Unison ENviro Pvt Ltd, IMC Ltd Assam Gas, Think Gas Investments Pte Ltd, AG&P LNG Marketing Pte Ltd, IRM Energy Pvt Ltd and Enertech Fuel Solutions Pvt Ltd.