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India: Bitumen Demand

Indian Oil Company and Pörner Commission Bitumen Plant

| Editor: Alexander Stark

Barauni Refinery in East India now operates a Biturox plant for production of 150,000 TPA road paving bitumen.
Barauni Refinery in East India now operates a Biturox plant for production of 150,000 TPA road paving bitumen. (Source: Pörner Group)

In February 2017, IOCL commissioned together with the Pörner Group a new Biturox bitumen plant at Barauni Refinery near Patna in East India. This is the 4th plant operated by the Indian company based on Biturox technology. Pörner provided the license and engineering services.

New Delhi/India — To reduce bitumen imports, IOCL invested in construction of a new bitumen plant with Biturox technology for bitumen with high viscosity grades. Since February 2017 the plant has been producing on-spec road paving bitumen VG-10, 20, 30 & 40 with a capacity of 150,000 TPA, sufficient for paving 1,000 km expressways per year. The scope of services provided by the Austrian company comprised licensing, tests in the company's laboratories, basic engineering, supply of core components as well as commissioning support and personnel training.

This technology is able to process refinery intermediate products VR (vacuum residues) as well as HVGO (heavy vacuum gas oil) from different crudes of the Middle East.

“We now have one of most up-to-date bitumen plant in the world that meets all quality requirements” says Mr. Shukla, Executive Director, Barauni Refinery.

The new plant in Barauni is the fourth plant for the IOCL licensed by Pörner after 1994 (Chennai Refinery), 2001 (Gujarat Refinery) and 2010 (Mathura Refinery)

Ambitious Infrastructure Targets

India‘s road infrastructure amounts to approx. 5.5 million km, thus being the second largest road network in the world, after the USA. India’s National Highways cover only 2 % and only about 60 % of the roads are asphalted actually.

Therefore the road network development is one of the main targets for the Indian government. As a very important construction material bitumen in first class quality plays an essential role for this. Because of the ambitious expansion programs such as the East-West and North-South corridors across India, the annual bitumen consumption is going to increase from lately 4.8 million tons up to 7 million within the next seven years.

By the middle of the century, India expects to become the most highly populated country and the third-largest economy after USA and China in the world. The development of new cities and the expected comprehensive industrialization require rapid improvements of the infrastructure, especially the road networks.

Therefore the construction of additional approx. 19,000 km expressways is planned up to 2022.

Presently about 65 % of India’s bitumen is produced in Pörner Biturox plants. By now ten of India’s 23 refineries produce bitumen with high viscosity by Biturox plants.

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