Bitumen is a semi-solid hydrocarbon product produced from refining crude but also occurs naturally. It is often referred to as asphalt and the terms are commonly used interchangeably; however, bitumen is the black oil product while asphalt is a combination of bitumen and aggregate stone. It is a very heavy, viscous material, is highly resistant to water and to environmental factors and requires storage and transportation at very high temperatures.
It is primarily used by the construction industry, most notably for roofing and road surfaces, which accounts for approximately 85% of all bitumen use.
Vitol has an expanding presence in bitumen and is involved both as a manufacturer and supplier.
Through our joint venture Valt Asphalt we supply customers worldwide, using the largest specialist asphalt fleet of vessels in the world. Three of the refineries in which we are invested, in Antwerp, Belgium, Vohburg and Neustadt, Germany and Geelong, Australia, manufacture bitumen. As well as our own production, we work with refiners around the world to source the required grade of bitumen for our customers.