Australia's largest independent fuel operator Puma Energy has today announced the completion of its acquisition of BP Australia's bitumen business, making it one of the largest suppliers of bitumen in the country.
The purchase agreement, signed in March, means Puma Energy will own and operate BP's Brisbane, Townsville, Altona and Hobart sites, inheriting BP's industry-leading proprietary bitumen products and 35 employees.
As part of the agreement, BP will continue to supply Puma Energy with bitumen from its Kwinana refinery until Puma's new WA fuel and bitumen terminal replaces it in 2017.
All operations will continue as normal, with the only immediate change being the rebranding of the business to Puma Bitumen.
Puma Energy Australia General Manager Ray Taylor said the acquisition was a significant milestone for the company, as it expands its bitumen operations in the country.
"Our global capabilities in the bitumen sector gives us a unique position in the Australian market and allows us to offer customers high-quality products sourced through a secure and integrated global supply chain," Mr Taylor said.
"This acquisition gives Puma Energy a competitive edge by taking a world-renowned, quality, technically-focused business and combining it with our already sophisticated global networks, industry-leading infrastructure and supply security promise.
"Our terminal network, soon to increase with the commissioning of our Perth terminal, complements a full-service logistics operation including the world's largest bitumen fleet, access to refined products in multiple countries and oxidisation plants in Sydney, Brisbane and Langsat (South East Asia)."
With the sale process now complete, Mr Taylor said the company was focused on welcoming the new staff and ensuring customer service was uninterrupted.
"We are committed to a smooth transition for existing customers and will ensure they have access to the same team and the same products they have grown to trust and respect, but will also focus on adding value by bringing new capabilities and new opportunities to the table," he said.
"Our immediate plans are to consolidate and then grow. Long-term, we will be looking to continue expanding our footprint in the bitumen market by building new fuel and bitumen terminals, investigating future capital investment into polymer products and enhancing the Bulwer facility in Brisbane.
"It's an exciting time for our business and for the industry, and we look forward to injecting new energy into the Australian bitumen market."
Puma Bitumen will officially launch its offering to the industry at the 2015 Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) International Flexible Pavements Conference at the Gold Coast, 13-16 September.
Puma Energy began its bitumen operations in Australia in December 2013 with the purchase of Caltex's Sydney-based bitumen business. Two years later the company enjoys a leading position in the Brisbane, Sydney, North Queensland, Western Australian and Tasmanian bitumen markets.