RIL, BP commence fuel retailing JV, to start re-branding petrol pumps

The joint venture looks to expand the current fuel retailing network of 1400 outlets, to 5,500 over the next five years
BP and Reliance Industries (RIL) on Thursday announced the commencement of their new fuel retailing and mobility joint venture (JV). The JV will now begin rebranding RIL fuel retail outlets to Jio-BP.

The newly launched JV company is named Reliance BP Mobility (RBML), the firms said in a joint statement. The new entity will also look to provide electric vehicle charging and other low-carbon solutions over time.

RIL and BP had signed a definitive agreement for the JV in December last year and had then said that the retail operations would be run under the Jio-BP branding. 

The agreement also stated that RIL would transfer ownership of its existing fuel retail network, along with access to its aviation fuel business, to the new entity.

The statement added that RBML had received marketing authorisation for transportation fuels, among other necessary regulatory and statutory approvals. “The JV will begin selling fuel and Castrol lubricants with immediate effect from existing retail outlets, which will be rebranded ‘Jio-BP’ in due course,” it added.

BP has paid RIL $1 billion for a 49 per cent stake in the joint venture, while RIL will hold the remaining 51 per cent. “Following initial agreements in 2019, BP and RIL teams worked closely in a challenging environment to complete the transaction,” said the joint statement.

The JV looks to expand the fuel retailing network of 1,400 outlets to 5,500 in the next five years. The statement added that the expansion would also lead to staff augmentation. “This rapid growth will require a 4x increase in staff employed in service stations — growing from 20,000 to 80,000 during the period,” it said.

In the aviation fuel supply segment, the JV looks to increase its presence from 30 to 45 airports, in the coming years. It would look to leverage RIL’s presence across 21 states and its millions of consumers through the Jio digital platform, the statement added.

“Reliance is expanding on its strong and valued partnership with BP, to establish an all-India presence in retail and aviation fuel. RBML will aim to be a leader in mobility and low-carbon solution, bringing cleaner and affordable options to Indian consumers with digital and technology being our key enablers,” said Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of RIL.

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