BPCL Cuts Refinery Throughput As Lockdowns Hit Fuel Demand

Bharat Petroleum Corp. reduced its refinery throughput in May as pandemic-induced lockdowns by many states have hit demand for transportation fuels across India. The oil refiner and marketer’s throughput stood at 8.39 million tonnes in the quarter ended March, annualised to 33 million tonnes.

While demand was higher as the economy emerged from the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the third and fourth quarters of the last financial year, it fell in May following the lockdowns. “April was good, we were able to process 100% of the refinery capacity,” N Vijayagopal, director of finance at BPCL, said in an interaction with BloombergQuint.

“However, in May, state-level lockdowns reduced the demand for products—motor spirit (petrol) and high-speed diesel (diesel).” As a result, throughput has been restricted to 85-86% of BPCL’s design capacity in May.

Although demand for both fuels was lesser by a third compared to a normal year, it’s higher than a year ago, when a nationwide lockdown was imposed, Vijayagopal said. BPCL isn’t expecting demand to improve next month.

Bloomberg Quint
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