State-owned GAIL India has sought shareholder nod to amend the charter of the company to invest in start-ups, build solar power plants and set up battery charging stations for electric vehicles as it looks to diversify its portfolio beyond gas and petrochemicals. The nation’s biggest natural gas transporting and marketing company wants to insert six new sections in the main objects clause of the memorandum of association of the company, according to shareholder notice.
It wants to invest in “start-ups in core business areas (of natural gas, petrochemicals, and energy) and non-core areas (like health, social and environment, safety, and security) either directly or indirectly”. “The investment can be made through special purpose vehicle (SPV), alternative investment fund (AIF), fund of funds (FoF) and trust,” it said.
GAIL said that there is a necessity to adopt new and different pathways to provide clean, cost-effective and efficient mobility services that are safe, reduce dependence on oil imports and achieve more efficient land-use in cities with the least environmental footprints and impacts on human health. With the objective in mind, the firm wants to set up “battery charging stations and providing charging services” to electric vehicles. With the government planning to make a major shift to electric vehicles by 2030, GAIL felt that charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in India has not been fully developed yet.