Repos Energy sees telematics-based fuel storage as major growth driver as industries shift to alternative fuels
The supplier of diesel-dispensing bowsers for doorstep delivery to commercial buyers of the fuel, started in 2019, had previously relied on the manufacturing of diesel bowsers as its primary source of income, with nearly 90% of its total revenue of about Rs 250 crore coming from it.
Pune-based Repos Energy is of the opinion that its telematics-based fuel storage business will be a major growth driver going ahead, as industries move towards different kinds of alternative fuels.
The supplier of diesel-dispensing bowsers for doorstep delivery to commercial buyers of the fuel, started in 2017, had previously relied on the manufacturing of diesel bowsers as its primary source of income, with nearly 90% of its total revenue of about Rs 250 crore coming from it. The company has also sold fuel worth around Rs 1200–1300 crore through its platform to date.
Chetan Walunj, Co-founder of Repos said that the fuel storage, which has been christened the Data Automated Teller Ultimate Machine (DATUM), will now account for a significant portion of its revenue in the coming years. Though presently used for diesel, it can be modified to meet the storage needs of other fuels such as CNG, LNG, biofuels, or even electric vehicles, he added.
Telematics refers to the use of electronic devices to track and monitor vehicles and other assets. In the case of Repos Energy, telematics allows the company to track the fuel levels in its customers' tanks as well as the usage patterns of their vehicles in real time. Further, this information can be used to optimise fuel deliveries and provide customers with insights into their fuel consumption.
For instance, VRL Logistics, a major transportation company in India, recently deployed around 30 telematics-enabled storage systems, also called Data Automated Teller Ultimate Machine (DATUM) from Repos, at a few of its hubs. The system is expected to save the company 5–7% in fuel costs, which translates to crores of rupees. The system has also helped VRL reduce its "dead mileage," which is the distance that vehicles travel while they are not carrying any cargo. For the sake of perspective, VRL Logistics consumes roughly 2.5 lakh–2.7 lakh litres of diesel daily.
Construction and infrastructure major Shapoorji Pallonji is aiming for similar savings from the systems it recently installed at its sites. About 4-5 sites have been installed with the DATUM machines.
Bharat Electronics, Atlas Copco, Alleppey Parcel Service, Praj Industries, Parle Agro, and Adani Ports and Logistics are among the notable companies that have adopted these new technologies. Each of these storage units costs around Rs 5–6 lakh, the company said.
Walunj stated that the idea for the production of the telematics based storage tanks stemmed from the observation that almost all storage at commercial sites currently happens in barrels, which may not be the safest or most convenient way to store fuel.
Fuel costs can be a major expense for transportation, construction, and mining companies. For transportation companies, fuel costs can account for 40–45% of their total costs. For construction and mining companies, fuel costs can be even higher, at 50–55% of total costs. These businesses often have problems managing their diesel fuel. This can lead to fuel theft, diesel shortages, spills, and a lack of transparency in diesel data. All of these problems can add up to a 10% loss in diesel bills.
Meanwhile, even as Repos' operations currently remain largely limited to the domestic market, the Ratan Tata-backed company is already beginning to eye opportunities in the international market, with the first shipment already in place for South Africa. The supply to the rest of the geographies will follow, Walunj said before signing off.
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