Bitumen sales soar to new highs

    Bitumen
    The increased focus of the central government to build world-class road infrastructure across the country has led to a rise in demand for bitumen products, prompting oil marketing companies (OMCs) to increase its production better margins, said sources, claiming that the bitumen‘s monthly consumption growth rate has been constant year-on-year since August 2015, except a dip in July 2015, owing to monsoons. As rains stopped, bitumen consumption registered a growth of 5.4 per cent during September 2016 and a cumulative growth of 9.7 per cent for the period of April to September 2016. The government has kept the development of roads at a high priority through various programs. Bitumen is a key raw material for road construction in the country and that among the three oil marketing companies; Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is the market leader in the bitumen segment. For others like Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL), the rise in growth in bitumen has led to the increase in company‘s focus in the bitumen segment. Similarly, HPCL produced 32% higher bitumen in FY16 to capture strong demand in this profitable segment. It purchased higher quantity of bituminous crude, which allowed it to produce almost 32% higher bitumen, for which demand is growing at 10-15% a year due to pick-up in road construction, the sources added.
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