Adani Total Gas Ltd, the joint venture of billionaire Gautam Adani’s group and French energy giant TotalEnergies, will invest Rs 18,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore in the next 8 to 10 years to expand infrastructure for retailing CNG to automobiles and piped gas to households and industries, its CFO said.
The company retails CNG to automobiles and piped gas to household kitchens for cooking purposes in 52 licences that cover 124 districts of the country. It has 460 CNG stations in the country and about 7 lakh consumers of its piped cooking gas.
It is looking to expand its network of CNG stations as well as pipeline network that takes the gas to household kitchens and industries, to tap into the country’s growing appetite for cleaner fuel.
In the company’s latest annual report, Adani Total Gas Chief Financial Officer Parag Parikh said the company invested over Rs 1,150 crore in FY2022-23 for creating additional infrastructure.
“From a long-term perspective, we continue to be optimistic of gas prospects. There is a larger priority to moderate pollution as gas remains a preferred clean energy source with high user safety, customer trust and delivery convenience,” Parikh said. The firm is looking at investing more in creating infrastructure and expanding its network.
“For our city gas distribution business, we intend to invest around Rs 18,000-20,000 crore in the next to 8-10 years to build infrastructure that widens our customer base and sustains revenue growth,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer Suresh P Manglani said the firm’s strategy is to fast-track steel pipeline laying and build CNG stations faster across the licenses where it operates for early monetization.
“I am happy to share that your company is going to build over 1,800 CNG stations in the next 7-10 years and committed to connecting every home across all our geographical areas desiring to have cleaner and greener piped natural gas in their kitchen,” he said.
Besides scaling core business of gas distribution, the firm has embarked on diversifying its bouquet of choice – CNG, compressed biogas and EV charging. “The time is coming when we will have widened our portfolio of service to a range of clean fuels that address different applications for different consumers, reinforcing our positioning as a one-stop comprehensive service provider,” he said.
India is targeting to increase the share of natural gas, which is less polluting than liquid fuels, in the economy to 15% of its energy mix by 2030 from the current 6%. And city gas is an area the government is prioritising for this.
He said the government’s move to cap the cost of natural gas will bring stability in prices and prioritise availability to the city gas distribution network. “This price stability and supply predictability will empower companies like yours to enhance services around this stable pricing and accelerate the country’s fuel preference in line with the stated policy.”
On new opportunities, Manglani said ATGL has formed two separate units for e-mobility and biomass.
“Foraying into the rapidly growing segment of e-mobility, ATGL has formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Adani TotalEnergies E-mobility Limited. Presently, ATEEL is engaged in setting up EV charging infrastructure for two, three and four-wheelers at various locations across the country”.
EV charging is a natural fit in ATGL’s existing business of CNG retail outlets and is a step towards offering alternative fuel choices to consumers, he said.
ATGL already has 104 charging points at 26 locations across the country. This it intends to scale it up to over 3,000 EV charging points across the country.
He said the floor and ceiling set by the government for the majority of the gas produced within the country will “ensure a stability in domestic gas prices and get India beyond the gas volatility of FY 2022-23.”
Adani TotalEnergies Biomass Limited is ATGL’s wholly owned subsidiary to tap into India’s huge potential of biomass derived energy. ATEBL is currently building one of India’s largest Compressed Biogas plants at Barsana near Mathura in UP with eventual 600 tonnes per day feedstock processing capacity.
In addition to utilizing agricultural and livestock waste as feedstock, the company is also actively seeking opportunities in the municipal solid waste segment to expand its CBG production footprint. CBG is suitable for transportation and utilization in the CGD network.
“ATGL is at the right place, right time and in the right business to capitalise on economies and generate healthy financials across the foreseeable future,” the CFO said.