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Total's acquisition marks the largest foreign direct investment in India’s city gas distribution industry. (Photo: Reuters)
Total's acquisition marks the largest foreign direct investment in India’s city gas distribution industry. (Photo: Reuters)

Adani-Total JV to seek fuel retailing licence

  • Last October, Total SA had agreed to acquire a 37.4% stake in city gas distributor Adani Gas Ltd for around 5,700 crore - marking the French energy major’s biggest bet on India’s clean energy push

MUMBAI: The Adani Gas and French energy major Total SA will soon seek government nod to open retail fuel stations in India, said the former's chief executive officer, Suresh Manglani, on Wednesday.

"Definitely we will take full benefit of the expertise and strength of Total," Manglani had told reporters on an earnings call, adding that the intent was to become a full-service operator providing a multi-fuel offering.

The joint venture, Total Adani Fuels Marketing Pvt Ltd, will shortly apply for a licence under the new liberal fuel retailing rules, Manglani said.

Last October, Total SA had agreed to acquire a 37.4% stake in city gas distributor Adani Gas Ltd for around 5,700 crore - marking the French energy major’s biggest bet on India’s clean energy push.

The proposed acquisition also marked the largest foreign direct investment in India’s city gas distribution industry, with the deal giving Total joint control of Adani Gas, along with the Adani group.

Despite a slowing economy, India remains a lucrative market for global oil companies as it is the world's third largest oil consumer and importer.

In October, the government had eased fuel retailing norms, allowing non-oil companies to set up petrol pumps to boost competition. This June, the government also allowed entities to set up liquefied natural gas (LNG) stations anywhere in the country as India aims to raise share of gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030 from the current 6.2%

These measures, say analysts, has made India an attractive destination for oil majors.

Last month, British oil major BP and India's Reliance Industries (RIL) formalised their joint venture Reliance BP Mobility Ltd.

RBML, where BP holds 49% stake and RIL holds the rest, plans to expand fuel retail outlets to over 5,500 from the present over-1,400. It also plans to build full-stack electrolyzer and fuel cell solutions in India which will be used to run hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. “We will replace transportation fuels with clean electricity and hydrogen," RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani had said at the company’s annual general meeting on 15 July.

Adani Gas, which has been a major player in the country's city gas distribution segment, also plans to sell liquefied natural gas (LNG) for transportation.

The company on Wednesday reported a 42% year-on-year decline in its net profit for the quarter ended June to 46 crore.

Revenue from operations dropped 57% to 207 crore from 479 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal. Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) was down 41% at 86 crore.

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