Shell Sells Bitumen Plant in West India to Gulf Petrochem

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Gujarat & Dubai, xx/xx August: Gulf Petrochem, which has its head office in the UAE, has announced its acquisition by way of direct purchase of Specialties Bitumen plant of Royal Dutch Shell at Savli, near Vadodara in Gujarat, India. 

The acquisition will complement the construction of a high capacity storage terminal for various petroleum products including Bitumen at Pipavav in Gujarat and meet the ever increasing demand for Bitumen Specialty products in West and North India. This High Technology will also supplement the Bitumen business of company from various terminals and depot in India. Gulf Petrochem is today importing and supplying Bulk Bitumen from Mundra (Gujarat), Karwar (Karnataka), Haldia (West Bengal) and Kahipur (Uttaranchal). It also imports and supplies Packed Bitumen from its various depots at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Patna, Kashipur, Kosi Kalan (UP) and Kashipur (Uttaranchal). Gulf Petrochem supplies almost 35% of total imported Bitumen in India and is the largest importer of Bitumen in the country today. 

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 this plant to manufacture Bitumen products that adhere to new specifications laid down by Indian Roads Congress. 

Speaking about the acquisition, Manan Goel, Group Director at Gulf Petrochem, said: “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 Specialty products.” 

The plant was commissioned in 2009 and is spread over 3.5 acres of land in Savli GIDC area in the state of Gujarat. The plant is a state of the art, fully computerized and automatic plant that enables full control on the composition of raw materials to the finest percentage and on the complete manufacturing process. The formulation of all the manufactured products are once fed in the system and locked so as to use the same formulation for all the batches and production at plant. All this ensures that all the batches of a particular grade of product are fully consistent enabling the customers to use the same to maximum efficiency. The consistent quality of product also ensures that the contractors are able to use the same mix design with ultimate accuracy for a particular project site. 

The plant has high end Quality Control and Quality Assurance mechanism wherein the quality of each raw material is tested in details before being used for production of finished products. There is a laid down procedure and defined protocol for testing of finished products that includes in-line testing during production, testing after storage in tanks, testing after filling in drums and final testing of bulk product just before dispatch. Each bulk tanker is supplied with a sealed sample of the product jointly signed by customer, transporter and company representative so that the quality of product can be tested and matched at project site as well.  The plant also has lab scale plants for R&D activities wherein the team is regularly working to develop New Generation, High Quality products and also to improve the quality of existing products. 

The plant would manufacture and supply all variety of grades and specifications of Bitumen Specialty products as per IS, ASTM, AASHTO and BS standards as per the required standards and specifications laid down for different road projects in the country. In line with the demand of Indian road sector, the plant will meet the demand in different packages such as Bulk in tankers, 200 Kg MS New drums, 200 Kg MS Reconditioned drums and 200 Kg HDPE drums. The company plans to stands poly bag packing also for Modified Bitumen and Bitumen products as per the requirement of market. 

The large terminal at Pipavav having a total storage capacity of 2,60,000 Cbm of different product will have Bitumen storage tankages for 15,000 MT. This terminal will import International Quality Raw Bitumen that will feed this Specialty Bitumen plant at Savli. As Gulf Petrochem is the only company in the region actively involved in Conventional Bitumen and Specialty Bitumen products, the road construction companies are offered a One Stop Shop with competitive pricing as a result of effective supply chain integration. 

 In order to maintain Global Operating and Quality Standards, the plant will be manned, operated and managed by the existing Shell team managing the plant during Shell ownership. At the same time, Gulf Petrochem already has trading desks in the Middle East, Europe, Singapore and India, qualified to sell all grades of Bitumen and Bitumen Specialty products that this plant will produce. It will also supply Shell's existing customers who have shown keen interest to continue taking supplies from this plant. Gulf Petrochem is equally committed to meet the High Standards of Quality from this plant, fully meeting the expectations of Indian road sector.