British energy group BP is deepening its ties with Indian industrial company Reliance with a new joint venture for retail service stations and aviation fuel distribution across India, BP said on Tuesday.
Reliance will own 51% of the new entity. The two companies expect the deal to close in the first half of next year and to benefit from Reliance’s huge Jamnagar refining complex.
The move comes days after BP said it would build a network of electric-vehicle charging hubs and convenience stores in China with China’s Didi Chuxing as the British firm bets on the world’s largest market for such cars.
“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,” BP said.
“(The) venture will incorporate and build on (Reliance’s) current fuel retailing network of over 1,400 sites across India, which the partners aim to grow rapidly to up to 5,500 sites over the next five years.”
The venture will also encompass Reliance’s aviation fuels business at 30 Indian airports. BP and Reliance have already worked together on oil exploration and production and gas marketing.