2016, a good start for bitumen activity
The 2016 bitumen season promises to be an excellent one: two election campaigns, a state budget voted earlier than usual and the opening of a new EU funds package.
This year, all factors influencing the bitumen market seems favourable to TOTAL Romania after a long period of low demand. The 2016 state budget was voted late last year, which allows us to expect a better uniformly distribution of the sales volumes throughout the year. “If, in the past, bitumen sales were concentrated mostly in the last months of the year, this year we started shipping in March”, confirms Iulian Guțu, the Bitumen Manager. Also, two rounds of elections are programmed this year: the local elections in June and the general ones in November. Undoubtedly, they will boost the development of new or existing maintenance projects. Finally, the beginning of the new European framework programme, that will extend until 2020, will carry the allocation of new EU funds forward, notable on transport and road infrastructures. Customers have already confirmed a high number of projects being under way or about to begin, thanks to the experience they have gained in accessing them the previous years.
Commercial activity will be supported by a more efficient supply policy. Four different bitumen sources will supply the Ozun depot to ensure our supplies during peak season. “We already bought 34,000 MT of bitumen at a formula price and we have at least 25,000 tons secured on spot prices that will be delivered on request, explains Radu Ignat, Supply & Logistic Manager. During peak season, the demand far exceeds the supply and it is good to make sure from the very beginning that you have available bitumen and a reliable supplier in those moments.” The main supply points identified are essentially the Pancevo refinery of NIS (Serbia), but also the ENI refinery of Taranto (Italy) using Sargeant Marine to organise the sea fret to Romania and collecting by wagons the products in Constanța port, we also aim at repeating the successful supply made last year from the Gdansk refinery of Lotos (Poland) and finally, whenever our colleagues of TOTAL Germany are looking for an export of excess production, we shall collect bitumen from the Brunsbüttel refinery directly or from Leuna refinery through Kourim depot in Czech republic. Thanks for the good support of our colleagues of BTM/SIB helping us to organise a potential of 75kt for the year, all mostly done by rail. “For TOTAL, 2016 will not only be a year in which we expect volumes to rise again, but the year we work to become more visible and gain recognition as a key player in this market through the innovative services we are preparing. And, not least, to increase our profitability!” concludes Iulian Guțu.
Supply & Logistic Manager