Archive for February, 2010

Reliance Industries awarded “Excellence in Practice” by ASTD

February 24, 2010

American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) has honored the Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) Nagothane petrochemical manufacturing unit ‘Excellence in Practice’ to achieve world-class safety in plant operation. Board of Directors of ASTD, which is the world’s largest association dedicated to workplace learning and performance professionals, will honor the team of Nagothane Manufacturing Division during its international conference and exposition on May 10, 2010.

RIL’s Nagothane petrochemical manufacturing division had initiated the practice of ‘Empowering Employees with Knowledge, to attain the safety in plant operation. The practice initiated by the RIL’s Nagothane Manufacturing Division clearly attracted the ASTD, which has members from more than 100 countries who work in thousands of organizations of all sizes. The practice has been selected for the ASTD honour on account of clear demonstration and measurable results of achieving organizational goals, strong evaluation plan and appropriate design values.

The ASTD award is a testimony of demonstration of sincere efforts of RIL’s Nagothane manufacturing unit employees, in line with RIL’s mission of achieving excellence in workplace and its operations. Indirectly, the ASTD has recognised RIL’s practice of relating learning to workplace safety performance through enterprise-wide awareness.



RIL’s marketing margin in accordance with GSPA: Deora

February 23, 2010

Oil Minister Murli Deora today said Reliance Industries need not club marketing margin with the gas sale price for purpose of calculating royalty — a statement that overturns a suggestion by oil regulator DGH.

DGH had wanted the $0.135 per million British thermal unit margin, which RIL charges towards marketing cost and risks, to be added to the sale price of $4.20 per mmBtu for calculating royalty and profit share to the government.

“The Production Sharing Contract (under which firms like RIL produces oil and gas from areas given by the Government) does not envisage sharing of revenue earned by the contractor (RIL) on the marketing margin between the government and the Contractor,” Deora told Rajya Sabha.

“The marketing margin is beyond the delivery point and arises as a result of Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement signed between the seller and the buyer,” Deora said in a written reply to a question by member Amar Singh.

“The PSC provides for sharing of revenue between the government and the contractor (RIL) of the sale of gas at the said price at the delivery point,” he said, adding that marketing margin was settled between buyer and seller and Government has neither decided nor approved the same.

Deora said marketing margin arises as a result of Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) signed between the seller and the buyer and was mutually settled between them.

“The rate of marketing margin neither in the case of KG D6 gas nor in any other case has been decided or approved by the government,” he said.

RIL charges marketing margin costs, incurred in customer identification, execution and sales of a Gas Sales Agreement, customer registration and activation, gas sales planning, daily gas sales operations, gas accounting, invoicing and collection and establishment of regional offices, and risks like penalties and liquidated damages, volume risks, credit risks and claims and settlement of disputes.


RIL produces gas worth $1.5 bn in 10 months

February 22, 2010

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries-operated D6 gas field in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin has produced more than 10 bn cubic meters of natural gas worth over $1.5 bn in the first 10 months, a senior official in the oil ministry said. RIL commenced gas production from its KG-D6 on April 2, 2009.

Oil minister Murli Deora confirmed that the ministry has reviewed gas production from KG-D6. “It is a major achievement in country’s energy security. The (gas) production has helped industries particularly power and fertiliser sectors,” he told ET.

As per an oil ministry’s note, about 22 million standard cubic meter per day (MMSCMD) gas from KG-D6 is supplied to power units. “This has helped in generating an additional 5,000 MW power. It not only reduced the cost of producing power but also revived four stranded power plants in Andhra Pradesh,” the official said requesting anonymity.

“Now most of these power plants (getting KG-D6 gas) are running on a 90% plant load factor (PLF),” he added. PLF is measurement of average capacity utilisation of a power plant. Earlier, PLF of these power units was around 60%.

Due to the KG-D6 gas, government has been able to save subsidies on urea production to the tune of about Rs 4,000 crore, he said.

RIL is currently producing about 60 MMSCMD gas from KG-D6. “It is an achievement that the company has ramped up gas production in such a short time. It is only 20 MMSCMD less than achieving peak production level of 80 MMSCMS,” he said. At present production is taking place in 16 wells. But all 18 wells of KG-D6 are ready to commence production.

Reliance has already signed gas sale purchase agreements (GSPAs) with 48 customers for supplying over 61 MMSCMD. Consumers are specified by an empowered group of ministers (EGoM), and they are from fertilisers, power, city gas distribution, steel, LPG, refinery and petrochemical sectors.

In December 2009, RIL successfully tested the design capacity of its KG-D6 deepwater gas production facilities which gave a flow rate of 80 MMSCMD. RIL has been able to produce first gas from its KG-D6 block in a record time of six and a half year. Normally, deepwater production of such scale takes 9–10 years time. The KG-D6 gas field is one of the top five largest deepwater gas projects globally.


Reliance TimeOut to launch ‘Digital’ music

February 18, 2010

Reliance Timeout seems to be experimenting with a new product offering in the music arena. They have started negotiating with music companies and content aggregators for the initiation of sale of digital music in their stores.

This new model proposed by the leisure arm of Reliance Retail is that the rights owners will make the music available via content aggregators, who, in turn, will stream it to the Reliance Timeout store. Customers can choose to buy single tracks, or create their own compilations, and have them copied to a portable music player or mobile phone, or burnt on a CD at a small extra cost. The clincher – the music will be available at just Rs. 8 to Rs. 10 per song!

At the end of 2009 Mr. Deepinder Kapany, Business Head, Reliance TimeOut announced that “In the next 3-5 years, we will have a total of 45 Reliance TimeOut outlets across four states-mainly in western and southern India. Our strategy is to first saturate a town, then a state followed by the entire region.” Amidst several brand tie-ups and book launches that Reliance Timeout has seen over the last couple of months, this falls in line with the new initiatives the Reliance Retail and specifically Relaince TimeOut head are taking towards the expansion of the Reliance TimeOut brand.

In this era of free downloads and digital music at subsidized rates, there have been several attempts made to get people to pay for music, since the digital boom. It will definitely be fascinating to see whether Reliance Timeout can succeed where so many have failed and actually get people to pay for music.


Reliance TimeOut – Asia’s ‘Retailer of the Year’

February 17, 2010

Reliance TimeOut, the books, magazine and music specialty format of Reliance Retail has won the Asia Retail Congress 2010 Award for being ‘The Retailer of the year’ in the leisure category. Within just two years of its existence, Reliance TimeOut has achieved this milestone.

Reliance TimeOut which is present in Bangalore, Gurgaon, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai has always focused on innovations and customer centric offerings which has set it apart from the rest becoming the preferred destination for modern professionals, fast-track youth and new-age parents. The store offers an unparalleled range of products, services and experiences, catering to their need to explore, imagine, unwind, create, share and play. The ability in fulfilling the customer’s needs is reflected in the store design, merchandise and the same is carried further through the events and activities that are offered at the store for the customers to experience.

Recently Reliance TimeOut has seen much activity in terms of book launches. Biddu’s autobiography ‘Made in India–Adventures of a Lifetime’, Mridula Garg’s “Anitya- Halfway to nowhere” have been launched in Reliance TimeOut across the country with special appearances of the authors in select outlets. At the end of 2009 Mr. Deepinder Kapany, Business Head, Reliance TimeOut announced that “In the next 3-5 years (or December 2014), we will have a total of 45 TimeOut outlets across four states-mainly in western and southern India. Our strategy is to first saturate a town, then a state followed by the entire region.”

On this occasion, Mr. Kapany said, “We are extremely proud to win the Asia Retail Congress 2010 Award for being ‘The Retailer of the year’ in the leisure category. This award has added one more feather to our cap and set an inspiration to our entire team behind it. We hope to take the unique Reliance TimeOut experience further and win many more awards in the future.”


Mukesh Ambani – Like Father, Like Son

February 12, 2010

It may have been more than half a decade since the man behind India’s largest private sector company, Dhirubhai Ambani, had passed away; however, the legacy built by him has been carried on through Reliance Industries and his elder son Mukesh Ambani. Mukesh Ambani has not only taken over the reigns and responsibilities of Reliance Industries Limited but has also been quintessential in making the company a global entity. While Dhirubhai Ambani has been referred to as the most enterprising Indian entrepreneur, Mukesh Ambani has been ranked as one of the world’s most respected business leaders and conferred various awards for his leadership skills.

Dhirubhai Ambani began his entrepreneurship journey at the age of 16 when he moved to Yemen, while Mukesh Ambani decided to join his father’s business at the age of 24. Dhirubhai Ambani’s single minded determination and vision took Reliance from a regular textile business to the conglomerate it is today. He is also credited of having shaped India’s equity culture by introducing innovative instruments like the convertible debentures to the then financial institution dominated market.

Mukesh Ambani too has made contributions that have not only helped shaped the future of Reliance Industries, but also helped shape the future of the energy sector in India. Following his father’s footsteps of “dare to dream and learn to excel”, Mukesh Ambani was the brain behind Reliance’s key strategy of backward integration. This key strategy helped Reliance Industries foray from textiles into polyester fibres and further petrochemicals. Following Mukesh Ambani’s backward integration strategy, Reliance also ventured into the production of biopharmaceuticals with Reliance Life Sciences after identifying bio-fuels as an alternative energy source.

Mukesh Ambani can also be credited of being the brain behind the world’s largest grassroots petroleum refinery at Jamnagar as well as leading Reliance Industries in the retail sector with Reliance Retail. While Dhirubhai Ambani was the first Indian to be awarded the Dean’s medal by the Wharton School, Mukesh Ambani too has been bestowed by a Dean’s medal by the University of Pennsylvania for his visionary leadership in the application of engineering and technological advancements for the betterment of mankind.

While Dhirubhai Ambani was voted as the “Greatest Creator of Wealth in the Centuries” in 2000, Mukesh Ambani ranked fifth amongst the top performing CEOs in the world according to the Harvard Business review conducted for January-February 2010. While Dhirubhai Ambani won the Economic Times Lifetime Achievement Award for corporate excellence in 2001, Mukesh Ambani was honored by the “ET Business Leader of the Year Award” by the Economic Times in the year 2006. Also while Dhirubhai Ambani was named the “Man of the 20th Century” by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Mukesh Ambani has been ranked number eight on the Forbes’ list of the “World’s Most Powerful Billionaires”. The dream that was started by Dhirubhai Ambani with an initial investment of Rs.50,000 has been taken forth by Mukesh Ambani to make him the wealthiest person in India. Therefore, the adage “Like father, like son” is probably the most appropriate description for the father-son duo of Reliance Industries.


Reliance says halted fuel sales to Iran last May

February 10, 2010

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), which operates the world’s biggest oil refining complex in India, said it had halted fuel sales to Iran from May 2009. Media reports on Tuesday quoted Iranian Ambassador to India Seyed Madhi Nabizadeh saying that the Islamic nation was continuing to import fuel from Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).

Reliance in a statement said: “From May 2009, Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) has stopped exports of refined products to Iran and our contract with the buyers explicitly prohibits Iran as a destination for any cargo loaded at Jamnagar.”

Reliance’s huge refining complex at Jamnagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat can process 1.24 million barrel per day of crude.

In January the U.S. Senate approved legislation that would allow President Barack Obama to penalise companies that export gasoline to Iran or help the Islamic republic expand its oil-refining capacity by, in part, denying them loans and other assistance from U.S. financial institutions.


Parikh charges up private oil retailers including Reliance and Shell

February 8, 2010

Private refiners Reliance, Essar and Shell plan to re-enter the petrol pump business in a big way if the government goes ahead with the Kirit Parikh panel’s recommendation to have free market pricing in petrol and diesel.

The private refiners had shut their pumps down when crude oil jumped to $147 a barrel and the state-owned refiners compensated for selling fuel below costs by the government.

“Private refiners are closely watching the government move. Free market pricing of petrol and diesel now is the most appropriate as it is around $70 to $80 a barrel,” industry sources said.

The first indication of their aggressive intent came from Essar group chairman Shashi Ruia who said Essar Oil planned to increase its petrol pumps to 2,000 in the next few months from 1,450.

Sources in Reliance Industries said they would re-enter the business if the government provided a level-playing field to the private players.

Terming it a landmark, Credit Analysis and Research (CARE) Limited has called for the immediate implementation of the Kirit Parikh Committee report that has recommended freeing of petrol and diesel prices and a steep hike in LPG and kerosene rates. This was the key to cutting subsidies, it said.

“The government needs to strike a balance between reducing the subsidy burden on the public sector companies, reducing the fiscal deficit and managing the current inflationary scenario, given that the economy is in the process of revival and is attempting to restore its buoyancy,” CARE said in a statement here.

“In the past, the entry of private players in the retail fuel market had resulted in an erosion of about 10 per cent in the market share of the public sector companies.”

Sources in the state-owned refiners said they would suffer immensely if the government just freed petrol and diesel prices, while leaving kerosene and LPG untouched.

“Private sector players would then have a field day because they can sell petrol and diesel at market-determined prices. Two-thirds of our losses are from cooking gas and kerosene,” the sources said.

The private firms had a market share of 14 per cent in 2006, but it had gradually reduced to a negligible sum following the spike in crude prices and absence of a compensating mechanism.

Reliance had to shut its retail operations down after global crude oil prices peaked. Essar and Shell India also closed some of their pumps, but when crude prices softened, they restarted some operations.

Arguing for free market pricing in its report, the Parikh committee said “a market-determined pricing system for petrol and diesel can be sustained in the long run by providing level playing field and promoting competition among all players, public and private, in the oil and gas sector.”

The report said a spike in crude price from $70 a barrel to $120 a barrel would result in an increase of around Rs 160 per month for two wheeler users and less than Rs 1,000 per month for car owners.


RIL submits interest in Canadian firm; Value Creation

February 5, 2010

Energy major Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has submitted a USD 2 billion expression of interest for private Canadian firm Value Creation Inc, CNBC-TV18 reported on Friday quoting sources.

The promoters of the Canadian firm, which holds oil sands assets, are looking to raise funds to settle with lenders.

An RIL spokesperson said he had no immediate comment.

RIL, India’s largest listed company with interests in petrochemicals, refining, oil and gas exploration, and retail, is already looking to buy bankrupt petrochemicals maker LyondellBasell for around USD 13.5 billion


Reliance Jewels part of First ANANT Buyer-Seller meet

February 4, 2010

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) organised the ANANT Buyer-Seller meet between 28th January’10 to 30th January’10 in Mumbai, with attendance from major retailers and manufacturers who are participants of the ANANT campaign. The meeting was held to allow participants of ANANT to interact and explore opportunities to leverage the campaign to its fullest.

The ANANT campaign was launched in September 2009, to promote single line diamond jewellery, and boost the industry. It aimed at propelling growth of diamond jewellery in India.

The meet saw participation of 51 retailers, 26 manufactures and the ANANT sponsors (Rio Tinto, Gold Souk & IGI). This is the first time a Buyer-Seller meet has been organised by the GJEPC exclusively for the domestic market.

Amongst retailers who attended the ANANT Buyer-seller Meet were – Kashi Jewellers, Antara Jewellery, Meena Jewellers, Waman Hari Pethe, Shree Ganesh Jewellery, Orra, Kalajee Jewellery, Chintamani Jewellers, JKJ Sons & Jewellers, Lagubandhu Motiwale, Entice Jewels To Treasure, TBZ Westend, Batukbhai Jewellers, Notandas & Sons Jewellers, Nathella Jewellers, Karan Kothari, TBZ Org, Abharan Jewellers, Manubhai Gems, Ganjam, Sampad Diamonds, CKC, P.C Jewellers, Tanishq, P.P Jewellers, Reliance Jewels, Davanam Jewellers, Arvind Bechardas, VNM Jewels Crafts, KB Zaveri, B.K Saraf, Forever Jewellery, Kirtilal Kalidas, CH Jewellers, Talwarsons, Damodardas Jewellers, Sugal & Damani, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas, Prince Jewellery, Dass Jewellers, Nemichand Bamalwa, Premji Valji, Capuccino Collection and Shree Krishna Group.

The ANANT campaign is now entering its second phase.