Millennium Post

Oil PSUs plan to add 4,450 petrol pumps in Gujarat and 5,000 outlets in TN: Official

Ahmedabad: Public sector firms Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum plan to add 4,450 retail outlets across Gujarat in a bid to expand its network and meet growing fuel needs, an official said here Sunday.

The three oil companies Sunday launched the process of selecting eligible dealers for these outlets from a single online platform, nearly four years after a similar exercise was taken in 2014, the official said.

"Three PSU oil companies have together issued a joint advertisement for dealership after a gap of around four years.

Expansion of the petrol pump network is required to meet growing fuel needs and for the convenience of customers," Indian Oil Executive Director (Gujarat), S S Lamba said Sunday.

The three companies seek to add 4,450 retail outlets in Gujarat, comprising 2,350 of IOC, 998 of BPCL and 1,102 of HP, he informed. They already operate around 4,000 petrol pumps in Gujarat.

"With new highways getting added and distance from urban centres growing, we are also looking to expand our network in rural and far-flung areas," Lamba added.

Many norms have been eased to allow more people to participate in the process, Lamba said, adding that unlike last time, when the minimum qualification required was having passed Class XII, this time those having cleared Class X could also apply.

Only those selected on the basis of online forms will have to submit documents for further consideration, which saves on unnecessary paperwork, Lamba added.

Also, for the first time, a computerised "draw of lots" and "bid opening" will be held under an independent agency to bring in more transparency, he said.

A candidate can go to to apply for the outlets, the IO ED informed.

Also, as part of their retail network expansion plan, India's three state-run oil-marketing companies would open 5,125 petrol bunks in Tamil Nadu over the next two years, said a senior official of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Sunday.

The three companies are IOC, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd., and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

"The three companies plan to add about 5,125 new dealerships, as demand for oil is growing. The demand for petrol is growing at 8 per cent per annum and diesel at 4 per cent," R. Sitharthan, Executive Director, IOC, and also the state-level Coordinator for oil industry, told reporters here.

As on April 1, 2018, the three companies had a retail network of 4,844 petrol bunks in Tamil Nadu. The planned retail expansion will take the number of outlets to 9,969.

The three players will populate the market with their retail outlets, giving the private players like Essar a tough time.

He said the fuel outlets will come up along new highways, agricultural pockets and industrial hubs.

Sitharthan said the process of application for dealerships and allotment has been simplified.

"For the first time, a computerised draw of lots would be held, and opening of the bids would be held under the supervision of an independent agency for greater transparency."

Sitharthan also said the three companies would expand their retail outlets in Puducherry by 132 units, taking the total to 262 bunks.

Indian Oil plans to add 2,615 new outlets, Hindustan Petroleum 1,515 outlets and Bharat Petroleum 1,127 outlets in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

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