The government has received three preliminary bids for buying of controlling stake in India’s second-largest fuel retailer Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Oil Minister Dharmenda Pradhan said on Wednesday. Mining-to-oil conglomerate Vedanta had on November 18 confirmed putting in an expression of interest (EoI) for buying the government’s 52.98 per cent stake in BPCL. The other two bidders are said to be global funds, one of them being Apollo Global Management. “Lot of interest is there,” Pradhan said at a webinar series on ‘The Road To Atmanirbhar Bharat’ organised by Swarajya Magazine. “DIPAM has recently informed market… I think three parties have given EoI for the bidding process.” This process may take two-three weeks, thereafter arequest for proposal (RFP) will be issued and financial bids sought. BPCL operates four refineries in Mumbai (Maharashtra), Kochi (Kerala), Bina (Madhya Pradesh), and Numaligarh (Assam) with a combined capacity of 38.3 million tonnes per annum, which is 15.3 per cent of India’s total refining capacity of 249.8 million tonnes. It also owns 17,355 petrol pumps, 6,156 LPG distributor agencies and 61 out of 256 aviation fuel stations in the country. BPCL is India’s second-largest oil marketing company with a standalone domestic sales volume of over 43.10 million tonnes and a market share of 22 per cent during FY20. It is India’s sixth-largest company by turnover. The firm also has an upstream presence with 26 assets in nine countries such as Russia, Brazil, Mozambique, the UAE, Indonesia, Australia, East Timor, Israel and India. It is also making a foray into city gas distribution and has licences for 37 geographical areas (GAs).