Oil India (OIL) and Engineers India (EIL) will bid as a consortium for the 61.65% stake of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) in Numaligarh Refinery (NRL).
The bid is to be submitted through a formal process. The exact percentage of the stake of OIL and ElL will depend on the extent of right of first offer (ROFO) to be exercised by the Assam Government, that already holds 12.35% stake in NRL. Announcing the decision to bid, OIL said Numaligarh Refinery was the largest customer of the crude (oil) produced from its North Eastern fields. The acquisition is expected to improve the synergy in OIL’s portfolio.
In a separate statement, EIL said it would take a minority stake in the refinery and OIL would be leader of the consortium. The move would enable EIL, one of leading engineering consultancy and EPC companies in the areas of hydrocarbons and petrochemicals in the country, to diversify into downstream oil and gas operations.
The Centre had, while deciding to divest BPCL, said the oil marketing company’s 61.65% stake in NRL would be transferred to a public sector company operating in the oil and gas space.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in the Budget (2021-22) speech, had said, despite the pandemic, “we have kept working towards strategic disinvestment. A number of transactions namely BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India, IDBI Bank, BEML, Pawan Hans, Neelachal Ispat Nigam limited, among others, would be completed in 2021-22.”