NEW DELHI - Indian Oil Corp, the country's top refiner, has formed an equal joint venture with France's Total to manufacture and market high-quality bitumen derivatives and specialty products for India's growing road-building industry.

The joint venture will set up manufacturing units across the country and also explore the possibility of catering to other South Asian markets, IOC said in a statement.

The joint venture would commence by taking over an existing plant of Total at Jodhpur in desert state of Rajasthan, SM Vaidya, chairman of IOC.

Later, it would also invest 2.26 billion rupees ($30.24 million) to set up six new plants at locations in northern, eastern and southern India, he said.

($1 = 74.7430 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma, editing by Louise Heavens) ((; +91 11 49548031; Reuters Messaging: