Diesel demand seeing degrowth, petrol picking up amid pandemic, says Indian Oil


Kolkata: State-run Indian Oil Corporation on Monday said demand for diesel in West Bengal has declined 20 per cent during the current fiscal so far, as industries are not fully operational in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Petrol demand has been flat in the state during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, though the same has increased by 1 per cent in the current month, IOC executive director Pritish Bharat said.

Speaking at a virtual press conference, he said demand for LPG cylinders has increased by 20-22 per cent during the period largely due to the distribution of three free units under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

He said jet fuel demand dropped by 75 per cent as most of the flights are not operating amid the COVID-19 crisis.

IOC is planning to expand its network of LPG distributors by adding 317 new locations in the state, Bharat, who heads the oil marketing company’s West Bengal operations, said.

According to him, the number of petrol pumps is also being increased by 1,250 in West Bengal, out of which 300 have been made operational.

IOC is also in the process of setting up a new LPG bottling plant at Kharagpur at a cost of Rs 163 crore, he said, adding that it is expected to be commissioned by the end of next year.

Bharat said GAIL is laying a pipeline from Jharkhand’s Bokaro to Kolkata to bring in Compressed natural gas (CNG), while IOC along with its JV partner Adani will extend it to Burdwan.

IOC’s head of aviation segment in the eastern region Amitava Bose said the company has witnessed a 70 per cent drop in volume due to the pandemic.

“We hope that by year-end, there will be an overall drop by 50 per cent, while the pre-pandemic levels will be hopefully reached next year,” he added.

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