Oil regulator PNGRB Monday declared the final list of winners of city gas retailing licences that had billionaire Gautam Adani's group, state-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Torrent Gas as the big winner.
Adani Gas won rights to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households and industries in 13 cities on its own and another nine, including Allahabad, in a joint venture with IOC, according to results of 84 cities that were bid out in the country's biggest city gas distribution (CGD) bid round.
According to the list of winners put out by Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), IOC on its own won rights to seven cities, including Coimbatore and Salem in Tamil Nadu and Guna in Madhya Pradesh.
Bharat Gas Resources Ltd, a unit of state-owned BPCL, won a licence for 11 cities like Amethi and Rai Bareli in Uttar Pradesh and Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, while Torrent Gas Pvt Ltd made 10 winning bids that included ones for Chennai, Alwar in Rajasthan, Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh and Karaikal in Puducherry.
State gas utility GAIL's retailing arm, GAIL Gas, managed rights for five cities, including Dehradun.
Indraprastha Gas Ltd, the firm that retails CNG in the national capital, won city gas rights for Meerut and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.
Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Gujarat Gas won rights for one city each while Green Gas got licences for two and Maharashtra Natural Gas Ltd that for three.
Other winners included smaller players like IRM Energy, Haryana City Gas, Essel Gas, Megha Engineering & Infrastructure Ltd, Tripura Natural Gas, and Assam Gas.
PNGRB said a total of 4,346 CNG stations have been committed to be set up in the 84 Geographical Areas (GAs) in eight years. Also, the entities have committed to provide 2.1 crore piped natural gas connections to households kitchens by September 30, 2026.
When the ninth CGD bidding round closed in July, IOC, BPCL and Adani Gas were the top bidders. As many as 86 cities were offered in the bid round but results of two have been withheld pending legal challenge mounted by certain bidders.
Of the 86 cities offered for retailing of CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households in the ninth CGD bid round, IOC bid for 34 cities on its own and another 20 in partnership with Adani Gas.
Adani Gas on its own bid for 32 cities.
Bharat Gas Resources Ltd bid for as many as 53 cities, while 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 CGD business by bidding for a licence in seven cities but drew a blank.
Indraprastha Gas Ltd had put in bids for 11 cities.
PNGRB said the ninth CGD bidding round was launched on April 12 for development of city gas networks for the 86 geographical areas (GAs) which includes 174 districts (156 complete and 18 part), spread over 22 states and Union Territories (UTs) in India.
The present round will double the city gas coverage. At present, CGD authorisation has been given by PNGRB for 92 GAs covering 124 districts spread over 23 States and UTs.