UAE-based oil company Gulf Petrochem has acquired the Royal Dutch Shell's bitumen plant in Gujarat to meet the increasing demand for road construction products in West and North India.
The acquisition of the plant at Savli near Vadodara will complement the construction of a high capacity storage terminal for various petroleum products at Pipavav in Gujarat.
The plant will be manned, operated and managed by the existing Shell team as it would also be upgraded to manufacture bitumen products that adhere to new specifications laid down by Indian Roads Congress.
Gulf Petrochem will begin to manufacture 30,000 metric tonnes per annum of bitumen speciality products including bitumen emulsions, micro-surfacing emulsions, crumb rubber modified bitumen, polymer modified bitumen and various other cold mix road construction products.
"The acquisition has helped increase our product portfolio with petroleum products that we can market and deliver through our storage, shipping, manufacturing and terminal businesses.
"It mirrors our growth strategy because we have enhanced our integration solution in India and consolidated our position as the only company in the region that is actively present in both conventional bitumen and speciality products." Manan Goel, Group Director at Gulf Petrochem said yesterday.
Commissioned in 2009, the fully computerised and automatic plant spread over 3.5 acres of land in Gujarat.
The plant's capabilities will also supplement Gulf Petrochem's terminals in India, which includes importing and supplying bulk bitumen from Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal, and packed bitumen from depots at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Patna, Kashipur, Kosi Kalan.
Gulf Petrochem is the largest exporter of bitumen to India as it supplies almost 35 per cent of the total imported bitumen. The plant will also supply Shell's existing customers who have registered an interest to continue receiving supplies.