UAE-based Gulf Petrochem has announced its acquisition of the Royal Dutch Shell Specialties Bitumen plant at Savli, near Vadodara in Gujarat, India.
The acquisition, through a direct purchase, will complement the construction of a high capacity storage terminal for various petroleum products at Pipavav in Gujarat and meet the ever increasing demand for Bitumen Specialty products in West and North India.
Gulf Petrochem will begin to manufacture 30,000 MT per annum of Bitumen Specialty products that includes bitumen emulsions, micro-surfacing emulsions, crumb rubber modified bitumen, polymer modified bitumen and various other cold mix road construction products. Gulf Petrochem will also upgrade the plant to manufacture bitumen products that adhere to new specifications laid down by Indian Roads Congress.
The plant already operates to international standards and was commissioned in 2009, spread over 3.5 acres of land in the state of Gujarat. As a fully computerised and automatic plant it enables full control on the composition of raw materials to ensure all the batches of a particular grade of product are consistent.
Under Gulf Petrochem ownership, the plant will meet the demand for different packages such 200kg MS drums, 200kg MS reconditioned drums, 200kg HDPE drums and bulk in tankers. The company also plans to provide poly bag packing for modified bitumen products and expand manufacturing capabilities to supply a variety of grades and specifications as per IS, ASTM, AASHTO and BS standards.
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 Uttaranchal. It also imports and supplies packed bitumen from depots at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Patna, Kashipur, Kosi Kalan and Uttaranchal. Combined, Gulf Petrochem now supplies almost 35% of total imported bitumen in India and is the largest importer of bitumen in the country today.
Gulf Petrochem will subsequently sell all grades of bitumen and bitumen specialty products via the company’s trading desks in the Middle East, Europe, Singapore and India. It will also supply Shell’s existing customers who have registered an interest to continue receiving supplies.
In order to maintain quality standards, the plant will be manned, operated and managed by the existing Shell team.