Diesel Demand Seeing Degrowth, Petrol Picking Up: Indian Oil Corporation
A mechanic performs maintenance work as trucks are parked near a wholesale market in Delhi, India. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

Diesel Demand Seeing Degrowth, Petrol Picking Up: Indian Oil Corporation

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State-run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. on Monday said demand for diesel in West Bengal has declined 20% 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% 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% 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% 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, while IOC along with its JV partner Adani will extend it to Burdwan.

IOC's head of aviation segment in eastern region Amitava Bose said the company's market share has dropped by 70% due to the pandemic.

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

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