BP, Reliance To Retail Fuel Under ‘Jio-BP’ Brand
BP Plc and Reliance Industries Ltd. have announced the beginning of their fuel retailing joint venture under the brand ‘Jio-bp'.
BP had last year bought 49% stake in the 1,400-odd petrol pumps and 31 aviation turbine fuel stations owned by Reliance Industries Ltd. for $1 billion. The joint venture, where RIL holds the remaining 51 %, has now commenced operations.
"BP and RIL teams have worked closely over the past few months in a challenging environment to complete the transaction as planned," the companies said in a joint statement, adding the new fuels and mobility joint venture, Reliance BP Mobility Ltd., has started operations.
Operating under the 'Jio-bp' brand, the joint venture aims to become a leading player in India's fuels and mobility markets.
Reliance BP Mobility has received the marketing authorisation for transportation fuels, among other necessary regulatory and statutory approvals. It 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.
BP and RIL expect the joint venture to grow rapidly to help meet India's fast-growing demands for energy and mobility.
"India is expected to be the fastest-growing fuel 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,” Reliance BP Mobility said in the statement. “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.
On Thursday, RIL shares rose 1.52% to Rs 1,824.60 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex gained 1.12% to end the day at 36,737.69 points.