An investment of about Rs 50,000 crore is expected in setting up of CNG stations and pipelines to take cooking gas to households in 50 towns and cities that were bid out for city gas license in the 10th round, oil regulator PNGRB said.
As many as 225 bids were received for a license to retail CNG to automobiles and piped natural gas to households in 50 geographical areas (GAs) offered in the 10th City Gas Distribution bidding round, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) said in a statement.
Bidding for the 10th round of City Gas Distribution (CGD) licenses closed on February 5.
“The technical bids would be opened between February 7 and 9,” it said adding licenses would be awarded by month end.
It, however, did not disclose the identity of the bidders, which would be known only after bids are opened later this week.
“Once awarded, it is envisaged that this initiative would help in creating a robust infrastructure by bringing an investment of about Rs 50,000 crore, generate employment and play a significant role in achieving the shift towards a gas-based economy, with natural gas as the next generation, cheaper and environment-friendly fossil fuel,” PNGRB said.
The 10th round of CGD saw the launch of 50 GAs, covering 124 districts – 112 complete and 12 part – in 14 states in November 2018.
The round would extend city gas coverage to 18 per cent of India’s geographical area and 24 per cent of its population, the regulator said.
The government is targeting raising share of natural gas in the primary energy basket to 15 per cent from current 6.2 per cent, in the next few years and the bid rounds are aimed at fulfilling that objective.
They are also aimed at meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of giving piped cooking gas connection to 1 crore households, roughly triple the current size, by 2020.