Numaligarh Refinery (NRL) is currently evaluating a re-entry into the fuel retailing business through petrol pumps. The development follows the centre’s decision to make Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), shed its stake in the Assam Accord refinery (as NRL is popularly called). BPCL’s stake in NRL was recently picked up by fellow public sector undertakings Oil India (OIL) and Engineers India (EIL).
“Since the promoters have changed and OIL is not in the business of fuel retailing, there is an incentive for us to re-enter the fuel retailing business. This time, we may not set up many retailing outlets, but there may be some strategic outlets that can serve 50 to 60 mobile fuel dispensing units,” an official aware of the discussions told Business Standard.
“The customer will have the choice to either come to the petrol pump (like they usually do) or opt for door-step delivery of fuel. We have not firmed up the number of retail outlets we will set up now, however, this is a logical way forward for us,” he added.
According to officials in the know, NRL has had permission to open 510 retail outlets in the country since 2004. At its peak, NRL had operated 136 retail outlets mostly in Eastern and North Eastern India. These were called Energy Stations.