India gets 400 bids in city gas auctions amid blue skies drive


Bloomberg: The Indian government received 400 bids for the 86 areas it offered in the country’s ninth auction for city-gas licenses, the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board said.
The biggest bidders included Adani Group and a unit of GAIL India Ltd., the Press Trust of India reported, without saying where it got the information. India Gas Solutions, a joint venture between BP Plc and Reliance Industries Ltd., scrapped its plans to participate, according to PTI.
“We have got unprecedented response,” PNGRB Chairman DK Sarraf said by phone, declining to identify the bidders. “This will be a big boost to India’s effort toward increasing gas consumption.”
The licenses in the latest round are expected to fetch investments worth Rs 700 billion ($10.2 billion) to develop gas infrastructure, the PNGRB has said. That is about four times the cumulative spending in the sector through March 31, according Crisil Ratings Ltd., the local unit of Standard & Poor’s.
India is seeking to double the share of natural gas in the country’s energy mix to 15% by 2030, while slashing emissions by a third.
India, which the World Bank said in 2016 was home to 14 of the 30 most polluted cities on the planet, is building gas pipelines and new import facilities to increase use of the fuel.
The areas in this week’s auction cover almost a quarter of the nation and are aimed bringing gas to 29% of its 1.3 billion people.
Evaluation of the bids will run from July 12 to July 18, and licenses are expected to be awarded by October, according to the PNGRB. The regulator awarded a combined 56 licenses out of 106 areas offered in previous rounds since 2009.

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