The northern region is likely to get nearly 1,000 new petrol pumps (excluding the ones by private players) as state-owned oil companies are in aggressive expansion mode.
The three public sector oil companies, namely Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), have issued letters of intent (LoIs) as part of their biggest-ever expansion of fuel retail network in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
Out of all LoIs, the maximum (674) have been issued in Punjab, followed by Himachal Pradesh (162) and Jammu & Kashmir & Ladakh (156). Besides this, Indian Oil has also inked MoUs with the Registar of Cooperative Societies and Jail Department of Punjab to set up retail outlets on their lands.
A letter of intent, as the name suggests, contains company’s intent to appoint an applicant as a dealer at a certain location, subject to his fulfilling certain conditions such as developing land on the specified location, depositing security deposit, arranging working capital and securing a bunch of government licences necessary to operate a pump.
According to sources, to ensure uninterrupted fuel supplies across the region, the companies are moving quickly to select dealers for new pumps that would help double their retail network in just a few years, serve customers better in less-penetrated micro markets and meet the growing challenge from the private sector.