Adani ties up with French energy major Total to enter petrol retail biz

File photo of Gautam Adani
Gautam Adani-led Adani Group will enter the petroleum retail business with French energy major Total SA. The two have signed an agreement to invest in downstream. This will include a foray into retail, with the duo opening 1,500 outlets to supply compressed natural gas (CNG) and develop various liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.

Both the companies have set a target of developing re-gasification terminals, including one at Dhamra LNG. “It will be a big stride towards India’s vision of achieving a healthier energy mix through promotion of LNG,” the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

Total and Adani will also create a joint venture with the objective of building a retail network over 10 years. These retail outlets will be on highways and intercity connections to supply CNG for vehicles. 

The French government was a majority stakeholder in Total till 1996, but has reduced its stake considerably since then. 

Earlier this month, the Indian government had set up a committee led by economist Kirit Parikh to review the current marketing guidelines, so that more private players can enter the business. Currently, companies need to make an investment of Rs 20 billion on petroleum infrastructure, or submit a bank guarantee of equal value.

Sources said the panel may make suggestions to facilitate the entry of multinational companies into the fuel retail space by removing entry barriers.

The two companies said they wanted to tap the domestic fuel market, currently growing at 4 per cent per year. Development of road infrastructure and higher purchasing power with the people have been cited as reasons for growth by experts.

The Adani-Total retail outlets will offer customers the latter’s full line-up of fuels, lubricants, as well other products and services.

Adani Chairman Gautam Adani said, “The synergy between the two groups presents widespread benefits and long-term value for the economy and the people. We are looking forward to this opportunity to touch millions of lives by leveraging our collective footprint and domain expertise in the energy sector. It also enables the Adani Group to be part of the country’s vision in adopting cleaner energy.”

This announcement follows Total Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne’s statement that his company was keen on investing in city gas distribution and fuel retail segments. It is also in talks with multiple players to invest in the LNG business. 

“India’s energy consumption will grow faster than most major economies over the next decade. The partnership between Total and the Adani Group illustrates our joint commitment in assisting India to diversify its energy mix and to ensure a supply of reliable, affordable, and clean energy to consumers,” Pouyanné said.At present, India has 1,424 CNG stations catering to 3 million vehicles. The petroleum ministry has said this would increase to 10,000 by 2030. Many carmakers in India such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, and Ford are already providing factory-fitted CNG kits in their cars. Early this year, Total had exited from Hazira LNG re-gasification terminal in India, selling its 26 per cent stake to Shell.

Synergy in energy
  • Adani Group, Total SA to form a joint venture to roll out a fuel retail network of 1,500 outlets, mostly on highways, in the next 10 years
  • Total will join Adani in developing a 5-mtpa LNG import terminal at Dhamra in Odisha
  • The French multinational is also eyeing a stake in city gas distribution (CGD) projects of Adani
  • In the recently concluded CGD bid round, Adani won rights to 13 cities on its own and another nine in JV with state-owned IOC

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