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RIL, BP Launch Fuels, Mobility Joint Venture

India is expected to be the fastest-growing fuels market in the world over the next 20 years, with the number of passenger cars in the country estimated to grow almost six-fold over the period.

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Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and bp on Thursday announced the start of their new Indian fuels and mobility joint venture, Reliance BP Mobility Limited (RBML).

Operating under the "Jio-bp" brand, the joint venture aims to become a leading player in India's fuels and mobility markets. bp, one of the largest international energy companies in India, has paid RIL USD one billion for a 49 per cent stake in the joint venture with RIL holding 51 per cent stake.

A press release said the joint venture will leverage Reliance's presence across 21 states and its millions of consumers through the Jio digital platform while bp will bring "its extensive global experience in high-quality differentiated fuels, lubricants, retail and advanced low carbon mobility solutions".

Commenting on the partnership, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited said RBML will aim to be a leader in mobility and low carbon solutions.

"Reliance is expanding on its strong and valued partnership with bp to establish a pan-Indian presence in retail and aviation fuels. RBML will aim to be a leader in mobility and low carbon solutions, bringing cleaner and affordable options for Indian consumers with digital and technology being our key enablers," he said.

Bernard Looney, bp chief executive officer, said India has been leading the way with innovations in digital technology, value engineering and new energy solutions.

He said it is a country that will require more energy for its economic growth and, as it prospers, its needs for mobility and convenience will accelerate.

"bp has a proud history in India spanning over a century. We are honoured to be a strategic partner with Reliance - India's most valuable company - and pleased that our partnership has grown in both substance and spirit over this past decade. Reliance's digital capabilities, technical expertise and reach complement our international fuels and service offers. Today's announcement is another milestone in our common goal to serve the Indian consumer. This new venture is a unique opportunity to build a leading, fast-growing business that can help meet India's demands and create exciting new digital and low-carbon options for the future," he said.

The release said that following initial agreements in 2019, bp and RIL teams have worked closely over the past few months in a challenging environment to complete the transaction as planned.

It said bp and RIL expect the venture to grow rapidly to help meet India's fast-growing demands for energy and mobility.

India is expected to be the fastest-growing fuels market in the world over the next 20 years, with the number of passenger cars in the country estimated to grow almost six-fold over the period.

RBML aims to expand from its current fuel retailing network of over 1,400 retail sites to up to 5,500 over the next five years.

"This rapid growth will require a four-fold increase in staff employed in service stations - growing from 20,000 to 80,000 in this period. The joint venture also aims to increase its presence from 30 to 45 airports in the coming years," the release said.

"Reflecting the companies' net zero ambitions, the new joint venture aspires to provide Indian consumers with advanced fuels with lower emissions, electric vehicle charging and other low carbon solutions over time. RBML is also committed to the decarbonization of its own operations as well as that of its wider ecosystem," it added.

RBML has received the marketing authorization for transportation fuels, amongst other necessary regulatory and statutory approvals. The joint venture will begin selling fuels and Castrol lubricants with immediate effect from its existing retail outlets, which will be rebranded to "Jio-bp" in due course.

RIL is India's largest private sector company, with a consolidated turnover of INR 659,205 crore ($87.1 billion), cash profit of INR 71,446 crore ($9.4 billion), and net profit of INR 39,880 crore ($5.3 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2020.

(ANI)