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Shell expands in India with new Bitumen plant

Shell has strengthened its asset base in India by opening a new bitumen plant in Uluberia, West Bengal.

The Uluberia plant is Shell's first bitumen production facility in India, capable of producing a range of products including emulsions, crumb rubber, modified bitumen and polymer modified bitumen. The plant has a current production capacity of 50,000 tonnes of bitumen products per annum - a volume that would be able to pave of road. This production capacity has the potential to be expanded in the future to meet growing market demand.

This investment reflects the growing size and importance of the market and the opportunity that India's economic and industrial development represents for Shell's business. In addition to the new bitumen plant, Shell has a vibrant fuel retail and lubricants business in India, supported by a lubricants blending plant, a liquefied natural gas facility, and a technical development and innovation centre. Shell also has a successful solar power business in India.

"This investment in Uluberia is further demonstration of our strategy to strengthen our portfolio in key growth markets. Our focus is on developing the business profitably to create maximum value to customers and shareholders. India is an exciting market for us as economic development and expansion will draw on materials supplied by companies like Shell," said Mr. Vikram Singh Mehta, Chairman, Shell Group of Companies in India."

Mr. Vikram Singh Mehta continued: "Shell has entered the India market in bitumen with twin objectives: to leverage over 80 years of experience across the world in building safe, high quality roads to the benefit of India and, thereby, to build a long standing profitable bitumen business in India".

India is building a huge network of highways and rural roads, which require world-class products of the highest quality to minimize the maintenance cost of the roads over their life cycle.

Mr. Egbert Veldman, Global Vice President, Shell Bitumen, said, "The Shell bitumen plant at Uluberia will bring to India best-in-class pavement solutions for highways and airport runways as well as some specialist applications. Further assets in bitumen will be needed t to support the reach of Shell bitumen in India based on market growth. We are here for the long term to partner infrastructure growth in India."

With nearly US$1 billion invested already, Shell is the largest and most diversified international investor in India's energy sector.