Energy major bp and oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries on Thursday announced the launch of a new Indian fuels and mobility joint venture, Reliance BP Mobility Limited (RBML).
The initial agreement for the JV was signed by BP and RIL teams in 2019. According to the agreement 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.
Operating under the ‘Jio-bp’ brand, the JV aims to become a leading player in India’s fuels and mobility markets. It aims to leverage Reliance’s presence across 21 states and its millions of consumers through the Jio digital platform.
While bp will bring its extensive global experience in high quality differentiated fuels, lubricants, retail and advanced low carbon mobility solutions bp and RIL expect the venture to grow rapidly to help meet India’s fast-growing demands for energy and mobility. India is expected to be the fastest-growing fuels 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.
In a press statement filed with the exchanges, Reliance Industries said, 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.
“Reliance is expanding on its strong and valued partnership with bp, to establish a pan-Indian presence in retail and aviation fuels. RBML will aim to be a leader in mobility and low carbon solutions, bringing cleaner and affordable options for Indian consumers with digital and technology being our key enablers,” Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited was quoted in the statement.
RBML has received the marketing authorization for transportation fuels, amongst other necessary regulatory and statutory approvals. The joint venture 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.
“Today’s announcement is another milestone in our common goal to serve the Indian consumer. This new venture is a unique opportunity to build a leading, fast-growing business that can help meet India’s demands and create exciting new digital and low-carbon options for the future,” Bernard Looney, bp chief executive officer said in the statement.