Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation’s biggest oil firm, may sell some of its over 32,300 petrol pumps to a joint venture with Malaysia’s Petronas with a view to monetising the firm’s vast fuel marketing network, its Director (Finance) S K Gupta said on Monday.
IOC has an over two-decade-old 50:50 joint venture with Petronas for the import of LPG. The scope of this joint venture, IndianOil Petronas Pvt Ltd (IPPL), is now being expanded to include fuel and natural gas marketing.
For one, IPPL will not be governed by the tedious petrol pump allotment rules that require public sector oil marketing companies to appoint dealers through a draw of a lottery. The joint venture can choose a site and operator quickly and on commercial terms.
“We have all options open – IPPL can set up new retail outlets, it can set up wayside amenities (at petrol pumps on National Highways) and we can also monetise some of our existing retail outlets by selling them to the joint venture,” Gupta said at an investor call.
IPPL can set up petrol pumps that will not just sell petrol and diesel but also have EV charging and battery swapping points as well as CNG/LPG and LNG dispensing stations.
This will be roughly on lines of the outlets that Reliance Industries and its partner BP Plc of UK are setting up.
Gupta said fuel marketing business is opening up that requires agility in operations.