BPCL EoI deadline set to be extended again: Sources

  • The news comes as a high-level meeting of an Empowered Group of Secretaries took place on Thursday

  • In May, the government had extended the deadline for submission of bids for the strategic disinvestment of BPCL for a third time to July 31

New Delhi: The deadline for EoI (Expression of Interest) submission for the strategic disinvestment of state-run BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) is set to be extended once again, sources in the know of the matter have told PSU Watch on the condition of anonymity on Thursday. The current deadline for bid submission is set to expire on July 31. And the news comes as a high-level meeting of an Empowered Group of Secretaries, which includes Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey, took place on Thursday.

In May, the government had extended the deadline for submission of bids for the strategic disinvestment of BPCL for a third time to July 31. PSU Watch had then reported sources as saying that more deadline extensions were in the offing in the wake of the COVID situation.

Bidders have sought more time: Sources

The sources said that the deadline extension is being considered on the basis of requests received from potential investors, especial global oil and gas behemoths like Saudi Aramco, Rosneft, ADNOC and Exxon Mobil. The travel restrictions placed in the wake of the pandemic have disallowed these global oil majors from flying to India to hold meetings and discussions with the BPCL management and visit assets.

The backdrop

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved the sale of BPCL in November last year. Initially, the last date for EoI submission was May 2, but it was extended to June 13 and then to July 31. The number of shares that the government is looking to sell off stands at 1,14,91,83,592, DIPAM had recently said in a clarification to queries raised by bidders. The disinvestment of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd will be completed before the closing of BPCL privatisation process, DIPAM had said. 

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