Essar Oil, India’s second largest private oil refiner, on Friday reported robust growth across its refining and retail functions in 2016-17 with a 75% increase in sales.

“Retail sales went up by 75 per cent to 2.8 million KL (kiloliters) in 2016-17 from 1.6 million KL in 2015-16. The refinery throughput grew by almost 10 per cent to 20.95 million tonnes, compared to 19.10 million tonnes in the previous fiscal,” Essar Oil said here in a statement.

“The retail network grew by almost 67%,” the statement said.

Essar Oil had 3,499 operational outlets as on March 31, 2017, while 2,631 others were under various stages of implementation.

Lalit Kumar Gupta, MD and CEO of Essar Oil, said: “This year, we achieved the highest ever throughput since the commencement of commercial operations at the Vadinar Refinery in May 2008. Our retail growth was quite remarkable.”

“During the financial year ended March 31, 2017, the refinery converted most of its VGO (Vacuum Gas Oil) into gas oil and other value-added products. The crude API (American Petroleum Institute) also improved to 23.3%, which helped in overall reduction in crude cost, thus enhancing refinery margins,” he said.

The company also modified its crude blend window to enable the refinery to process higher volumes of ultra-heavy and high acidic crudes, it added.