Mumbai: BP and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Thursday announced the start of their new Indian fuels and mobility joint venture, Reliance BP Mobility Limited (RBML).
Following initial agreements in 2019, bp and RIL teams have worked closely over the past few months in a challenging environment to complete the transaction as planned. bp has paid RIL $1 billion for a 49% stake in the joint venture, with RIL holding 51%.
Operating under the “Jio-bp” brand, the joint venture aims to become a leading player in India’s fuels and mobility markets. It will leverage Reliance’s presence across 21 states and its millions of consumers through the Jio digital platform. 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. 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.
Commenting on the partnership, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited Mukesh Ambani said: “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”.
bp chief executive officer Bernard Looney said: “India has been leading the way with innovations in digital technology, value engineering and new energy solutions. It is a country that will require more energy for its economic growth and, as it prospers, its needs for mobility and convenience will accelerate. bp has a proud history in India spanning over a century. We are honoured to be a strategic partner with Reliance – India’s most valuable company – and pleased that our partnership has grown in both substance and spirit over this past decade. Reliance’s digital capabilities, technical expertise and reach complement our international fuels and service offers. 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.”
Reflecting the companies’ net zero ambitions, the new joint venture aspires to provide Indian consumers with advanced fuels with lower emissions, electric vehicle charging and other low carbon solutions over time. RBML is also committed to the decarbonization of its own operations as well as that of its wider ecosystem.
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.