BP Forms India Fuels JV with Reliance

BP Forms India Fuels JV with Reliance
BP and Reliance Industries Limited have launched a new India fuels and mobility joint venture.

BP plc and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) have launched a new India fuels and mobility joint venture called Reliance BP Mobility Limited (RBML), the companies reported Thursday. They added that BP paid RIL $1 billion for a 49-percent stake in the JV, the remainder of which is held by RIL.

“Reliance is expanding on its strong and valued partnership with BP, to establish a pan-Indian presence in retail and aviation fuels,” remarked Mukesh Ambani, RIL’s chairman and managing director, in a written statement emailed to Rigzone. “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.”

The JV will operate under the “Jio-bp” brand and aims to become a leading player in India’s fuels and mobility markets, BP and RIL stated. The companies noted the JV will take advantage of RIL’s presence across 21 Indian states and millions of consumers through the Jio digital platform. They added that BP will contribute global expertise in fuels, lubricants, retail and low-carbon mobility.

According to the JV partners, India will likely be the world’s fastest-growing fuels market over the next two decades. They expect the number of passenger cars in the country to grow nearly six-fold during that time frame. As a result, RBML plans to expand its fuel retail network in India from more than 1,400 retail sites to up to 5,500 over the next five years. To support the retail growth, it expects to concurrently increase the number of staff employed at service stations four-fold: from 20,000 to 80,000 individuals. Additionally, the JV plans to boost it presence at India’s airports – from 30 to 45 facilities in the coming years.

“India has been leading the way with innovations in digital technology, value engineering and new energy solutions,” commented BP CEO Bernard Looney. “It is a country that will require more energy for its economic growth and, as it prospers, its need for mobility and convenience will accelerate.”

BP and RIL stated that RBML has secured marketing authorization for transportation fuels as well as other necessary regulatory and statutory approvals. They added the JV will start selling fuels and Castrol lubricants immediately from its existing retail outlets, which will take on the Jio-bp brand in due course.

“Reliance’s digital capabilities, technical expertise and reach complement our international fuels and service offers,” noted Looney. “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.”

To contact the author, email mveazey@rigzone.com.


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