New Delhi-based city gas distributor Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) is looking to more than double the number of domestic customers of piped natural gas (PNG) in the next four years, even as it awaits a crucial Supreme Court judgment, which will determine whether the company retains the right to fix transmission and compression tariffs.
IGL MD Narendra Kumar told HT that in the next 4-5 years, IGL, which currently has a little over 560,000 domestic PNG customers, is looking to add about 150,000 new ones per year. The company added more than 100,000 connections in 2014-15.
In April 2012, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) slashed the transportation and compression charges that IGL could levy by 64%, threatening its financials.
Following the order, IGL appealed in the Delhi High Court, which ruled in its favour. PNGRB then took the case to the Supreme Court, which is yet to give a final judgment on the matter.
The company, which operates in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida, also plans to up the number of its compressed natural gas (CNG) outlets by 10 every year from the current 300. At more than three quarters of its total revenue, CNG forms the mainstay of IGL’s business.
“We are targeting an investment spend of Rs 250 crore per year for the next three years,” Kumar said.
In the last one year though, the company, half of which is jointly owned by Gail India Ltd, Bharat Petroleum and the Delhi government, has seen a fall in off-take by its industrial and commercial customers, some of whom have migrated to furnace oil, a cheaper alternative to commercial PNG, as a result of a fall in global crude oil prices. Industrial and commercial customers make up for about 12% of IGL’s revenue base.
IGL had reported a marginal 5.96% increase in net profit during January-March quarter of 2014-15 compared to the year-ago period, even as sales had declined 5.34% to Rs 912.91 crore during the period. The company’s yearly net profit had, however, seen an increase of more than 21% to Rs 437.73 crore.