NEW DELHI: More than 400 bids have been received for licences to retail natural gas in 86 geographical areas in an auction that closed on Tuesday, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) said in a statement.
The downstream regulator did not give more details on bidders. Indraprastha Gas (IGL), which operates city gas network in the National Capital Region, bid for 11 geographical areas, according to a company executive. Technical bids will be open during July 12-18, according to the statement. The winners will be announced before October.
“It is envisaged this initiative would help create robust infrastructure by bringing in investment of about .`70,000 crore, generating employment and play a role in achieving the shift towards a gas-based economy, with natural gas as the next-generation, cheaper and environment-friendly fossil fuel,” PNGRB said. The regulator had sought bids by July 10 for distribution licences for 86 geographical areas comprising 174 districts.
With a potential to cover 29% of the population, the current round is bigger than all previous rounds put together. Distribution licences for 91 geographical areas, covering 19% of the population, are currently active. The current distributors are serving about 42 lakh homes, 34,000 commercial and industrial customers, and 30 lakh vehicles.