Experts from as many as 20 countries from across Asia gathered together today in national capital to discuss the challenges and market opportunities in Asia’s large Bitumen market at the TENTH ASIAN BITUMEN CONFERENCE 2015 (AsB 2015), being held in India for the first time.
Organized by Conference Connection and supported by Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Govt. of India, the conference was inaugurated today in the presence of Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas who also delivered the Inaugural Address.
“With road infastructure of 3.3 million kilometers, India has the second largest road network in the world, second to USA. Roads are the lifeline of any country, road network is also critical to the country’s social and security needs. The current government has kept the development of roads at a high priority by allocating more than 10% of the total spending for the same. Over 90% roads in India have to be bituminous. In such a scenario, Bitumen becomes an important parameter in planning and execution of road construction projects in India. Owing to the diverse climatic conditions, it requires better understanding of bitumen supply and demand in the country. Such a conference provides a lucrative opportunity to the sector and people connected with bitumen supply and demand. In 2014-2015, total bitumen sales in India were 4.8 million metric tonnes. I’m happy to note that bitumen products are being introduced at all the refineries in the country for the better performance of roads in India. I’m sure this would go a long way in facilitating a smoother and faster road network in India,” said Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
The first day of the conference witnessed the presence of key experts and speakers from across the world including from the US, Iran, UAE, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India, who discussed the latest market trends and technical developments in the bitumen industry, and offered insights into new challenges and opportunities offered by the emerging Asian bitumen market.
“India has the second largest road network in the world. Today’s government at the center has made huge plans for the road development in the country and this leads to the increase in demand of Bitumen in India. Presently, 90% of India’s road requirement is met by the local oil companies. The balance is imported. India also exports during the monsoon season from the east coast. The organized conference is to highlight the use and utilization of Bitumen in India. I’m sure in the two days seminar, there would be meaningful discussions on India’s future requirement, production, new technologies, imports and exports. It is for the first time that Asian conference is being organized in India in its 10 year history and we are happy to have Shri Dharmendra Pradhan as our chief guest” said Mr Ravikanth Reddy, CEO, Hotcrete Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, India, in his welcome address.
“Global bitumen demand is expected to reach 122 million tons in 2018 and the increasing road construction activities in the fast growing markets of China and India are expected to drive the growth of the bitumen market in Asia. India’s bitumen consumption will outpace production in the coming years as demand is expected to accelerate. Bringing AsB 2015 to India for the first time is therefore extremely timely as we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Bitumen series,” added a senior representative of the organizers, Conference Connection.
R.S. Sisodia, General Manager (Consumer Sales), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, India discussed the ‘Outlook of Indian Bitumen Market’; G.S. Gujral, Director & Chief Executive Officer, Bitumen Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd (BITCOL), India offered an in-depth perspective into ‘Bitumen Demand & Supply in India’; Ravee Poddaar, Senior Management, Tarang Exports (P) Ltd, India talked about ‘Global Sourcing of Bitumen for India’ while Capt. Allen R. Pinto, Director, Shipping Operations & Head Bulk Bitumen (Middle East, India & Africa), Richmond Mercantile Ltd FZC, UAE discussed Past, Present and the Future of Bulk Bitumen Imports in India.
Hamid Reza Rezaei, Commercial Director, Pasargad Oil Co., Iran spoke in depth about Iran’s Bitumen Export Now and Possible Scenario Post Sanctions; Sigit Setiawan, Marketing Manager – Bitumen, PT PERTAMINA (PERSERO), Indonesia discussed Indonesia’s Bitumen Production and Development Outlook; while Ashoka Siriwardena, Chairman & Managing Director, Bitumix (Private) Ltd, Sri Lanka offered a perspective on Bitumen Market Developments and Outlook in Sri Lanka.
The conference will tomorrow have similar sessions discussing the demand, supply, emerging opportunities and challenges in the Indian Bitumen market, where factors such as preference being given to cement over bitumen in road construction are pertinent issues to debate the merits, including the cost and sustainability, of each road material.
Other speakers will also talk about Value Added Specialty Bitumen Products; Challenges Faced by Indian Road Contractors and New Technologies in Road Making. Mr T V Sandeep Reddy, President, National Highways Builders Federation, India, will address the conference tomorrow.
AsB 2015 which enjoys outstanding industry support has Tarang Exports (P) Ltd and Samroudhil General Trading FZE as Platinum Sponsors; and Bitumen Corporation (India) Pte Ltd (BITCOL) and Renish Petrochem as Gold Sponsors. Affiliate Sponsors include Akam Bitumen Company, Armina Energy General Trading and Black Gold Trading Company.
The conference is in a strategic alliance with Petrosil/Bitumart and supported by Rex Fuels Management Pvt Ltd and National Highways Builders Federation. The official media sponsors include Platts, World Highways and Worldoils.