Yahoo! News: Shell to invest millions to open foreign petrol stations in India: “Vikram Singh Mehta, Chairman of the Shell Group of Companies in India, said the firm plans to open 2,000 outlets selling gasoline and diesel under the Shell brandname”: “Mehta said Shell was the largest foreign investor in India, with a stake so far of 850 million dollars.” (ShellNews.net) 7 Dec 04
South Asia - AFP
BANGALORE, India (AFP) - Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell said it would invest 2.5 billion rupees (54.3 million dollars) and become the first foreign firm to operate petrol stations in India since the sector was opened up.
Vikram Singh Mehta, Chairman of the Shell Group of Companies in India, said the firm plans to open 2,000 outlets selling gasoline and diesel under the Shell brandname and sourced from state-owned firms.
"The investment of 2.5 billion rupees is for the first phase. It will be deployed as quickly as possible," Mehta told reporters. "The first phase will cover southern Indian cities such as Bangalore and Madras."
India opened its oil sector to foreign and private domestic firms in April 2002.
"We have to build the retail network from scratch," Mehta said.
He said that in the short term the company had no plans to invest in manufacturing facilities for petroleum products.
"But if we have a significant share of marketing then we will seriously review our plans," Mehta said.
The petroleum marketing sector in India is dominated by state-owned Indian Oil Corporation, state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited. Privately-owned Reliance Petroleum Limited and Essar group are minor players.
Mehta said Shell was the largest foreign investor in India, with a stake so far of 850 million dollars.
In 1993, Shell took a 51 percent share in Bharat Petroleum and three years later set up the wholly-owned subsidiary, Shell India Private Limited. The company currently has interests in lubricants, petrochemicals and solar energy.