Showing posts with label Bitumen exporters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bitumen exporters. Show all posts

February 21, 2018

Security Clearance Sought for Road Project

Coastal road project...




With five international consortia among the 17 bidders, which qualified for the 29.2km coastal road project in the city, including China and Italy, the Brihanmumbai Mumbai Corporation (BMC) has written to the Centre for security clearance.

The proposals of 17 bidders will be analysed by a consultant appointed by the civic body.

After the analysis, the financial bids will be opened and the contract will be given to the lowest bidder.

However, if the Union Home Ministry disqualifies any firm, their financial bids will not be opened and will be automatically rejected.

“We have written to the Centre informing about the international firms’ participation and their security clearances,” said Sanjay Mukherjee, additional municipal commissioner, projects.

Talking about the commencement of work, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta said, “The actual construction of the Coastal Road between Marine Drive to Kandivli will begin in May this year, once the tendering process is completed in the next two months.”

The Hajo Ali section of the road. (HT Photo)

“The first phase of Marine Drive to Bandra Worli Sea Link has to be constructed by the BMC, while the construction of the remaining part will be taken care of by MSRDC,” he added.

Meanwhile, the international firms participating in the bid are from China, Italy, Korea, Dutch and Gulf countries.

Amid Sikkim stand off last year, Union Home Ministry had denied security clearance to Chinese consortium China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Limited in joint venture (JV) with Gayatri Projects Limited for the construction of Mumbai Trans Harbour Link.

The BMC is currently awaiting reply from the home ministry for its coastal road project.

In the past, Chinese companies have been disqualified by the Union Cabinet Committee on security grounds because of the growing cross border tensions between the two countries.

Chinese companies were also denied security clearance for the construction of Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL).

Ajoy Mehta had ordered the civic officials to finalise the request for proposal (RFP) tender by March 15, 2018.

The coastal road aims to provide connectivity between western suburb and the island city.

The civic body proposed that the work be divided into two parts.

The south phase of the bridge will run from Princess Street flyover till the south end of the Bandra-Worli sea link and the north phase will cover the stretch from the north-end of the sea link to Kandivli.

The coastal road will have eight lanes with two dedicated bus lanes.

The project will require 186 hectares of land to be reclaimed, of which 91 hectares will be developed as green spaces. Stay updated with all the Mumbai Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

February 8, 2018

2000 Road Projects in Stalemate

As many as 2,000 road projects awarded to contractors on multiyear contracts have hit a stalemate as no budget has been allocated for these projects in the current fiscal year.

The Department of Roads (DoR) had started around 2,000 road projects in different parts of the country on multiyear contract after taking permission from the Ministry of Finance. These road projects fall under different budget headings like Kathmandu Urban Roads, regional, tourism and city roads, among others.

After the country adopted federal set up, infrastructure projects like Kathmandu Urban Roads, regional, tourism and city roads, among others, have come under the jurisdiction of local bodies and provincial governments. But local bodies have not been able to provide budget for these projects as they have not yet received authorization to implement such works.

Contractors have warned that they would stop all construction work until they receive payment for completed works from the Ministry of Finance.

“It has been said the budget for these projects have been sent to local levels and provinces. However, we have not received any written information. This is why these projects have hit a stalemate,” Mukti Gautam, spokesperson for the DoR, said. 

These contracts are worth Rs 17 billion, and around Rs 7 billion of this has already been spent.

Contractors are pressing the DoR to release payments and compensate them for the loss caused by the delay in release of payment. The DoR accordingly forwarded a proposal to the Ministry of Finance for transfer of Rs 2.6 billion allocated for the projects but remained unspent in the last fiscal year. But the proposal is gathering dust at the finance ministry.

Officials of DoR said the that problem can be sorted out for the time being if the finance ministry transfers Rs 2.6 billion as requested and allocates another Rs 3 billion.

“We have been assuring the contractors that the finance ministry will release the budget soon. But frankly saying, we have not received any response from the ministry yet,” added Gautam.

In Fiscal Year 2015/16, the DoR awarded the tender for drainage and graveling work of Butawal-Belbas-Nuwakot-Palpa Tourist Road (10 km) to contracting firm Mahalaxmi-Divyajyoti at Rs 129.3 million. Similarly, the contract to blacktop the road worth Rs 92.7 million was awarded to Parkritik Construction Service. Mahalaxmi-Divyajyoti completed 58 percent of the works in FY 2016/17. But the contractor has slowed work this year as it has not got payment for the completed works.

“We are not even in a situation to pay our workers and buy petroleum products for our equipment,” Hari Rijal of Mahalaxmi Construction - a JV partner of Mahalaxmi-Divyajyoti - said.

The road project has to a pay total of Rs 60 million to the two contractors.

Construction entrepreneurs two weeks ago padlocked division road offices of Kathmandu and Charikot to press the government for early release of payments.

Bishnu Bhai Shrestha, president of Federation of Nepal Construction Entrepreneurs of Nepal, said that construction entrepreneurs are still to receive Rs 42 billion from government agencies for works completed across the country.

Though the construction entrepreneurs have raised the issue before both the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport as well as the foreign secretary, they have only received assurances.

According to the Public Procurement Regulation 2007, contractors should get payment for completed works within 30 days of submission of expenditure bill. If they did not receive their payment on time, they should get compensation as well, according to the regulation.   

Source- My Republica

September 29, 2017

Will Maldives ( MACL) choose the right pavement solution

Paving a runway requires highly skilled workforce and the right material.. Not anybody can supply the Asphalt mixture as per specification.. the high impact of the Jets onto the runway requires careful preparation of the surface.. Hope MACL chooses their suppliers correctly .

Airport new runway construction to begin in two months ( already delayed per original plan) 

The project to develop the new runway of the Maldives’ main airport will be underway over the next couple of months, announced Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) on Tuesday. 

Speaking at a press conference held at MACL’s main office, the company’s Managing Director Adil Moosa proclaimed that 70 percent of the land reclamation required for Velana International Airport (VIA)’s new runway has been completed with other preparations already ongoing. He stated that the runway development will commence during the first quarter of this year from the southern end of the island. 

The project to develop VIA’s new runway was awarded to Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) of China. BUCG had appointed United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s dredging firm Gulf Cobla as its subcontractor which commenced land reclamation for the runway last July 25. MACL had earlier estimated that reclamation will add around 30 percent or 62 hectares of land to the airport. 

Officials of MACL and BUCG presented the project’s progress to reporters on Tuesday. According to BUCG, several equipment required to commence runway development will be brought to the Maldives within this month, some of which have already arrived. 

The USD 373 million (MVR 5.7 billion) project, funded by a loan from the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China, aims to establish a new runway measuring 3,400 metres in length and 60 metres in width which can accommodate the largest airplanes such as Airbus A380. The project includes development of a new cargo terminal with a capacity of 120,000 tonnes and a fuel farm with a storage of 45 million litres. 

MACL also assured that relocation of the current seaplane terminal at the airport will commence soon, as the sand to reclaim land for the new runway is being excavated from the lagoon of the current seaplane terminal. 

Moreover, MD Adil said that the project to develop an airline complex with additional gates is also underway. Construction of the complex’s steel framework has already begun while installation is scheduled for coming February. 

VIA’s new runway is part of the government’s USD 800 million (MVR 12.3 billion) project to develop and expand the main airport. The project also features development of a new international terminal.

July 20, 2016

The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) his issued tenders to six pre-qualified bidders for each of the mega-bridges, over the Mtentu and Msikaba River gorges, that are to be part of the greenfield section of the N2 Wild Coast Road project.

This is in spite of the fact that the project, which has been dogged by controversy since its inception 15 years ago, still faces some unresolved legal issues. There was huge opposition from KwaZulu-Natal road users who expected to fund the project through increased tolling in their province. However, this opposition has fallen away as the KwaZulu-Natal section has been excluded from the project. The revised N2 Wild Coast Road Project runs from East London to the Mtamvuna River Bridge, a distance of approximately 410km.

Bizana residents fear being displaced and the Amadiba Crisis Committee has objected to the project, claiming it is linked to the Xolobeni dune mining proposal, against which they are fighting. Conservation organisations are bitterly opposed to the fact that the greenfields section of the proposed route will pass through the environmentally sensitive Pondoland Centre of Endemism, part of a global floral hot spot.

Sanral spokesman Mbulelo Peterson said that an open pre-qualification process had been followed before the issuing of the tenders. He said that, due to the size and complexity of the two bridges, which are expected to cost around R3,5-billion to construct, the tender periods were 18 weeks and 20 weeks respectively for the Mtentu and Msikaba Bridges. Tenders would close at the end of October for the Mtentu Bridge and early in November for the Msikaba Bridge. Construction of the bridges was likely to start early next year.

THE N2 Wild Coast road project was already well under way as Sanral had started working on it as soon as it had received the go-ahead from the Minister of Environmental Affairs in 2010. Mr Peterson said that, to date, Sanral had done extensive work on upgrading existing roads on the N2 between East London and Mthatha and on the future new N2 alignment along the current R61 route between Mthatha and Port St Johns.

All work already done on the N2 Wild Coast Road had been funded from non-toll funding and only the greenfields section of the route would be funded through a mix of government grant and tollings.

“Sanral, the Department of Transport and National Treasury are in discussion to finalise the funding model for the greenfields section. By law only roads funded through toll funding can be tolled and no cross-subsidisation of tolling is allowed,” he said.

This meant Sanral could not erect new toll booths or adjust tariffs at existing toll plazas within KwaZulu-Natal to fund roads in the Eastern Cape.

“New toll roads must be gazetted and go through an extensive public participation process after gazetting.”

In January this year, government gave the green light for the construction of the greenfields section of the project, between Ndwalane outside Port St Johns and the Mtamvuna River.

Mr Peterson said this part of the project would start with the construction of the massive bridges over the Mtentu and Msikaba Rivers, which border the Mkambati Nature Reserve. Once these were under way, construction of the remaining approximately 110km of road, the seven additional river bridges and four interchanges would start.

Source - Southcoast Herald

July 4, 2016

India to help Build Nepal Road

Tasked to improve road connectivity in remote parts of India's Northeast, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) is now venturing into Nepal where it has been assigned to guide the construction of over 600 km of postal roads in the Terai region bordering India.

A postal road is a road designated for the transportation of postal mail.

According to an MoU inked between India and Nepal, the decision was taken after a similar attempt by the Nepal Government failed to make progress due to negligence of the contractors in 2010.

"The Postal Road in the Terai region of Nepal will boost the country's much awaited road network. Under this current project the NHIDCL will be tasked to guide the construction of 19 postal roads of an outlay of 600 km," one of the top officials at NHIDCL told IANS declining to be identified.

He said the construction of 19 postal roads are under six packages for different parts of the Terai region.

"Basically we will be playing the role of consultants in the entire project. The biddings and all the tendering work of the road construction will be done by Nepal. Our work will basically be to see that the work does not witness failure like earlier," the official said.

According to the official, the decision for handing over the guidance work was decided during the recent visit of Nepal's Prime Minister K.P. Oli to India.

Abhay Thakur, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), told IANS: "Yes, It has been proposed to the Nepal Government for appointing NHIDCL as the consultant for the postal road projects. Though the precise MoU between the NHIDCL and Nepal Government is likely to be inked next week... all things are decided."

He said contractors from both Nepal and India can do the bidding for the postal roads projects.

The NHIDCL authority, who did not wished to be named, said the postal road has been prioritised for the development of Terai/Madhes region by expanding the road network. The 600 km work is only for the first phase. Both the countries will decide the agenda for the remaining works also."

Stating that the project was being financed by India, he said that the money will be given to Nepal for the execution of different stages of work, which will be over looked by the NHIDCL.

According to sources, the cost of the first phase of road construction in the Terai is estimated to increase to Rs 9 billion from the earlier Rs 7 billion. The total project cost will also rise from the previous estimate of Rs 29 billion. Around 130 bridges have to built along the 600 km highway.

Asked if NHIDCL has been given any other foreign projects, the authority said: "The creation of NHIDCL was for creation of difficult roads. The Government has full confidence on us and we are ready to undertake any project in any part of the world under any circumstance. However, there are no immediate foreign projects as of now."

NHIDCL, created in 2014, has recently been given the task of constructing over 4,000 km of roads in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir. The organisation was established after Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and Public Works Department of the states failed to carry out road construction in many remote parts in hilly terrain.
Source - Indian Express

June 22, 2016

Chile Road Projects Tender

Chile is pushing ahead with infrastructure development. The Ministry of Public Works intends to award five to seven projects during 2016. 

The Ministry of Public Works has also set a target of having 12-13 major infrastructure projects being awarded and worth a total of US$6 billion by the time the current administration comes to the end of its term.

One road project due to be awarded shortly is for the phase two of the Vespucio Oriente link. The tender is expected to open in July 2016. 
The projects for the Ruta de la Fruta, El Loa link and the road from Los Vilos to La Serena will also be put to tender in 2016. Meanwhile the tender process for the $1 billion Costanera Central project will be put out to tender in 2017.

First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com

June 7, 2016

Concrete to Replace Bitumen..

Concrete Roads 20% Cheaper Than Bitumen, More Durable – Dangote

The president of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote yesterday said using concrete in road construction is 20 percent less costly than using other materials.

The business man disclosed this at Itori, Ewekoro local government area of Ogun State during the inauguration of a 26 km concrete road constructed by his company as part of its corporate social responsibility, CSR, to the people of the area.

According to Dangote, apart from saving cost,  roads constructed with concrete last longer than bitumen roads and do not require much maintenance.

“Our decision to introduce cement concrete roads in Nigeria, is in line with what obtains in other parts of the world. For instance, the famous Autobahn in Germany, was constructed with concrete. The equally popular Marine Drive in Mumbai, India, which was built in 1939, is another example of a concrete road.”

The business mogul further stated that players in the cement industry in Nigeria have been clamouring for a rethink on how roads are constructed in the country saying to save billions that go into maintaining bitumen roads, concrete roads are the answers.

“The Nigerian cement industry as our contribution to finding a cost-effective and lasting solution to this problem, has been advocating the construction of concrete roads as a more viable alternative to asphalt roads. That is why we at DIL, are venturing into the construction of concrete roads. Today’s ceremony is just the beginning for us, as we will soon embark on the building of more concrete roads in other States of the Federation, including Lagos, Bauchi, Kogi and Kaduna.

Dangote explained that his company embarked on construction of Itori -Ibese road to contribute their quota to easing suffering of the people of the area occasioned by poor state of the road also help their business.

“This project was conceived in 2014, as part of our efforts to ease movement of our heavy duty trucks from our Ibese Cement Plant to other parts of the country. We realised that the existing narrow road built in the ’70s, had virtually collapsed and needed to be reconstructed to accommodate our trucks and other road users.

“First, concrete roads are not only about 20 percent cheaper than the conventional asphalt roads, but they also last longer and do not have potholes. Also, concrete roads do not require frequent maintenance and they save fuel for motorists and protect tyres from wear and tear.

He noted that apart from being cost effective and durable, materials for making concrete roads are locally sourced.

“Another advantage of concrete roads is that cement, the basic raw material is for construction, is available locally, and is cheaper to use in the long run than bitumen, a petroleum-based product that is presently imported. As a matter of fact, in Nigeria, economic losses due to poor condition of our roads is estimated at about $1billion annually. I believe that the introduction of concrete roads will enable the government to find lasting solution to the poor road network in the country, and also reduce the burden of constantly sourcing for funds to repair roads.

Source- leadership

January 4, 2016

New Asphalt & Emulsion Terminal

Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc., (Ergon A&E) announced today it has been approved to move forward with construction on a new asphalt terminal in Manor, TX. Construction on the facility, which will span some 27 acres, is set to begin in early 2016 with an anticipated completion preceding the 2017 road construction and paving season.

The Manor terminal will house neat and polymer modified asphalt products used in paving and asphalt emulsion production. The facility’s bulk storage will provide the capabilities to support Ergon A&E’s Texas emulsion plants, in addition to marketing paving and sealing-grade hot products.

The new terminal will be located approximately 15 miles from the Austin city center with prime access to nearby interstate thoroughfares for direct customer sales. The terminal will be served by both inbound rail and truck receipt capabilities.

Upon completion of the new Manor terminal, the facility will bring between 10-15 new jobs to the area including positions in operations, sales & marketing, management and facility maintenance.

About Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc.

Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc., is an Ergon company, and the premier asphalt and emulsions marketer in North America. Its manufacturing network encompasses more than 30 asphalt and emulsions facilities located from Coast-to-Coast. The company is an industry-recognized leader for road maintenance education and innovation with quality neat and polymer modified asphalt products and emulsions, in addition to a family of cost-effective pavement preservation solutions engineered to maintain the integrity of transportation networks.

About Ergon, Inc.

Ergon, Inc. is a privately held company based in Jackson, MS, that operates under six primary business segments: Refining & Marketing, Asphalt & Emulsions, Transportation & Terminaling, Oil & Gas, Real Estate, and Corporate & Other.

Source - Businesswire

November 27, 2015

Bitumen mixing Plant - On the limits

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan visiting a bitumin-mixing plant atKumbanad-Kadapra, near Kozhencherry, on Thursday


Photo: Leju Kamal

Residents of Kumbanad-Kadapra allege that the plant is causing breathing problems for people

The problems faced by the common man due to a bitumen-mixing plant located in a thickly populated area adjoining a Scheduled Caste colony at Kumbanad-Kadapra, near Kozhenchery, will be raised in the Assembly, Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has said.

Mr. Achuthanandan, accompanied by Village Action Council workers, was talking to reporters after visiting the plant on Thursday.

The Village Action Council has been waging an agitation demanding the shifting of the plant from the thickly populated area for the past three years.

Mr. Achuthanandan said the controversial plant should be relocated to an uninhibited area, if the custodians failed to operate it without causing problems to the villagers.

He first visited the Chellathuparambil colony and interacted with the affected families there.

Panchayat ward member Jessie Sajan said the villagers had been put to much difficulty due to the noxious fumes emitted from the plant.

She said one person was killed due to asphyxia caused by the fumes from the bitumen-mixing plant in March and many others were hospitalised.

Though the villagers under the aegis of the action council staged satyagraha before the Koipram panchayat office for 48 days, the local body had given clearance to the plant, disregarding their protests, Ms. Sajan said.

Ms. Sajan has been elected as an Independent member representing the action council in the just-concluded local body elections, defeating both the UDF and the LDF candidates.

Ammini Mathew, Winnie Mathews, and Sanoop Rajan, villagers, told Mr. Achuthanandan that the plant had been causing breathing difficulties and allergy problems to the people in the locality.

Steps sought

Mr. Achuthanandan also interacted with the owner of the plant, Prasad, and asked him to take immediate steps to address the problems faced by the local residents.

K. Ananthagopan, CPI(M) State committee member; R. Sanalkumar, district secretariat member; and Joseph Mathews, IT advisor to the Opposition Leader; were also present.

Source- The Hindu

November 20, 2015

Bitumen Storage Tanks

http://www.benzeneinternational.com
The Matola terminals Global mid- and downstream energy company Puma Energy officially opened new bitumen and fuel terminals in Mozambique this week, raising its capacity in the Southern African country to 275 500 m³.

The Matola terminals comprise 11 steel storage tanks, which have collectively added 115 000 m³ of storage capacity. The bitumen terminal has been designed to reduce Mozambique’s dependence on imports, while the fuel terminal creates a new fuel-supply channel for the Southern African Development Community.

COO Christophe Zyde described the Mozambican storage facilities as “state-of-the-art” and said the infrastructure would act as a catalyst for economic growth in the country.

Puma Energy, which is associated with the Trafigura Group, is active in over 45 countries globally and recently set up a regional hub in Johannesburg, South Africa, where it is also in the process of building storage capacity.

Source - http://www.miningweekly.com/article/puma-energy-opens-new-bitumen-fuel-storage-capacity-in-mozambique-2015-11-19

BY: TERENCE CREAMER CREAMER MEDIA EDITOR ©

Cheaper Crude Kills Bitumen Blend with high carbon


CHINA TEAPOT REFINERIES: SHANDONG TEAPOT REFINERS TO RAMP UP CRUDE IMPORTS BEFORE YEAR-END

Some independent teapot refiners in China's eastern Shandong province will be ramping up crude oil imports over the next month in a bid to utilize their import quotas before the end of the year, trade sources said this week.

This is despite a slowdown in domestic gasoline and gasoil sales, which dampened teapot refiners' demand for imported crude, petroleum bitumen blend and straight-run fuel oil over this week, as they continue to grapple with rising oil product stocks, according to sources.

No new crude cargoes have arrived at Shandong ports this week, after a string of deliveries last week.

But given a few refineries have only utilized just a small portion of their annual import quotas, the Shandong provincial government has required Lihuayi Petrochemical -- better known as Lijin -- Yatong Petrochemical and Kenli Petrochemical, to import a total 880,000 mt of crude before the end of this year.

Lijin will need to import 200,000 mt next month in order to meet its target.

The refiner, which has a crude import quota of 3.5 million mt/year, received two cargoes totaling 200,000 mt last week and will be returning from an ongoing full turnaround at the end of November.

Yatong will need to import around 600,000 mt of crude before the end of the year.

The refiner last week has received one 50,000-mt cargo of Russian Sokol crude, after taking delivery of its first import cargo of 60,000 mt in October. Yatong has a crude import quota of 2.76 million mt/year.

Kenli Petrochemical will have to import 80,000 mt of crude by the end of this year, according to sources.

The refiner, which has a quota of 2.52 million mt/year, has so far received a total of about 200,000 mt of Russian ESPO blend crude.

Meanwhile, some Omani crude, as well as Brazilian grades, were offered into the spot market on a FOB Qingdao basis, sources said.

With teapot refiners importing crude, the supply of imported crude in the Shandong market has also become abundant.

Some of the teapot refiners unable to fully use up their import crude supply in their own systems were said to be selling part of their cargoes to other teapot refiners which have not been granted import quotas yet.

Shandong's teapot refineries are able to crack crude and fuel oil, but they have been using less imported fuel oil since November 2014 because of relatively high procurement costs.

After the government granted teapot refineries access to imported crude oil, crude has been the top feedstock choice, while bitumen blend is still considered favorable for those that have no access to both domestic and imported crude.

NO NEW BITUMEN BLEND CARGOES THIS WEEK

Imports of petroleum bitumen blend by Shandong teapot refineries have been slow in recent weeks, mainly due to uncertainties over tax issues.

There was talk in the market that the government may levy a consumption tax on bitumen blend, as it has a similar quality to fuel oil. And should this happen, there will probably be fewer buyers for bitumen blend, which is used as feedstock for coking units.

Since the government typically reviews and revises all import and export items at the end of the year, trade sources said they would rather wait for a clear directive before resuming imports.

No new bitumen blend cargoes have arrived for Shandong teapot refineries this week.

Yuhuang Petrochemical and Hengyuan Petrochemical early this month have each taken delivery of a 100,000-mt cargo of bitumen blend at Rizhao and Tianjin. Another two similar cargoes are scheduled to arrive late this month, sources said.

This compares with an estimate 530,000 mt of bitumen blend imports, in five cargoes, into Shandong ports in October, which was lower than September's imports of 1.1 million mt in 12 cargoes.

The steep fall in bitumen blend imports was attributed to more teapot refineries being allowed to import crude, freeing up domestic crude supply to other refiners and displacing the share of bitumen blend in refiners' feedstock mix as a result.

Premiums of November-delivery common grade bitumen blend cargoes were heard at around $20-$25/mt to the Mean of Platts Singapore 380 CST high sulfur fuel oil assessments on a CFR basis.

Common grade bitumen blend has a density of 0.98-0.99 kg/l, sulfur content of 2%-3% and carbon residue of 12%-14%.

Teapot refineries in Shandong -- China's main buyers of imported straight-run fuel oil before November 2014 -- have largely switched to comparatively cheaper bitumen blend that does not incur consumption tax and import tariffs.

ONE RUSSIAN M100 FUEL OIL CARGO ARRIVED FOR TEAPOT

On Russian M100 fuel oil, one 30,000-mt cargo is due to arrive Friday at Rizhao port in Shandong.

The cargo will be taken by Xinhai Petrochemical in Jiangsu province, a subsidiary of Shandong's biggest teapot refiner Dongming Petrochemical. Western trader Mercuria was said to have moved M100 fuel oil cargoes into Shandong this month, though details on the number of cargoes and buyers were not known.

M100 fuel oil cargoes for delivery in early December were heard talked at premiums of around $45/mt to MOPS 180 CST fuel oil assessments on a CFR basis, stable from those delivered in early November.

Meanwhile, despite current thin demand for M100 fuel oil from teapot refineries and petrochemical plants, some Chinese companies are now expected likely to participate in Russian state-owned Rosneft's term tender for 2016.

The tender, offering up to 3.5 million mt of M100 fuel oil for loading over January to December 2016 from Nakhodka or Slavyanka, closes on November 19, and bids will remain valid until December 11.

Rosneft currently has a term contract of up to 2.8 million mt of M100 for loading over January-December 2015 from Nakhodka or Vanino with Mercuria, at a term premium of around $85-$88/mt to MOPS 180 CST HSFO assessment on a FOB basis.

--Staff, newsdesk@platts.com
--Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@platts.com

November 2, 2015

Mining Bitumen or Mercury ?

Mercury levels around the Alberta oilsands are 16 times higher than background loads, with contamination taking on the shape of a 'bull's-eye' over the region, say Environment Canada scientists.

Speaking at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry conference in Nashville, Environment Canada researchers Jane Kirk and Derek Muir said mercury levels are at their highest concentration in the immediate area of oilsands operations but extend out to cover a 19,000-square-kilometre area, Postmedia reports.

“Here we have a direct source of methyl mercury being emitted in this region and deposited to the landscapes and water bodies,” Kirk told Postmedia.

“So come snowmelt that methyl mercury is now going to enter lakes and rivers where potentially it could be taken up directly by organisms and then bioaccumulated and biomagnified though food webs.”

Kirk did quantify her findings by pointing out the fact mercury loadings around the oilsands region are still lower than in heavy coal-consuming areas of North America, such as southern Ontario and Quebec.

Kirk's findings come on the heels of a study released in October that found rising traces of mercury in bird eggs downstream from the oilsands.

The study, which was conducted by the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM) program, a federal-provincial initiative, is the third peer-reviewed study since 2010 to show mercury levels increasing in the ecosystem in the region, the Globe and Mail reported.

Scientists have expressed concerns over the levels of mercury in the area due to the fact the element accumulates as it moves its way up the food chain.

Concerns over resource extraction in the Mackenzie River basin was such that the Canadian Medical Association recently called for a medical investigation into the health risks and effects that some allege are associated with the industry.

A University of Calgary health study is also expected to be carried out in the near future to encompass the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, the Nunee Health Authority and the Fort McKay Metis community.

Kirk's study, which is expected to be published early this year, highlights what is becoming a hostile business environment for the province's oil industry.

Pipeline projects, which are critical if Alberta oil players are to remain viable, remain under threat of environmental and health pressures in the U.S., in neighbouring B.C. and, to a lesser degree, in Ontario and Quebec.

A thriving oilsands sector is also in the best interest of the Alberta government, which has closely tied its fortunes to the windfall of revenue created by the energy industry in the province.

When the Alberta government found itself unable to balance its budget in 2013, it blamed it on low revenues from the energy sector due to low prices paid for oilsands bitumen and limited pipeline infrastructure.

source- The Huffington Post

October 21, 2015

Bitumen Market Research Report 2015

Global Bitumen Market (Paving Bitumen, Oxidized Bitumen, Cutback Bitumen, Bitumen Emulsion, Polymer Modified Bitumen and Others) for Roadways, Waterproofing, Adhesives, Insulation and Other Applications -

Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2020
102 pages   Published Date: 2014-09-09  

Bitumen is primarily used as a binder in road construction along with other applications such as electronics, waterproofing for roofing, and in adhesives due to its resistance to water, insulation properties and high durability.

The properties of bitumen can be altered by adding polymers to it, thereby increasing its application scope. Bitumen is known as “asphalt” or “asphalt cement” in North America.

However, “asphalt” is a term used for a mixture of sand, small stones and other filler materials in the rest of the world. This mixture contains about 5% of bitumen. The mixture is known as “asphalt concrete” or more particularly “blacktop” in North America.

Bitumen is available in a number of grades based upon the standard mentioned by certain tests such as penetration test. Bitumen 80/100, bitumen 60/70 and bitumen 40/50 are the most commonly used bitumen, where the numerical values represent hardness of bitumen.

Softer bitumen represents greater penetration units.

Similarly, VG-10, VG-20, VG-30 and VG-40 are the viscosity grades of bitumen. Thus, different grades of bitumen are often represented as bitumen 80/100/VG-10.

Infrastructure activities to improve road networks in developed and developing nations are expected to drive the growth of the bitumen market. Furthermore, increasing applications of polymer modified bitumen (PMB) as chemical additives and adhesives in household and road construction are anticipated to boost the demand for bitumen. Additionally, rising construction activities for industries, commercial buildings and housing are estimated to drive the demand for bitumen over the next six years. However, environmental issues associated with the extraction of bitumen from oil sands are projected to hamper market growth. Increasing substitution of bitumen by concrete is also likely to adversely affect the bitumen market. However, development of bio-based bitumen or bio-bitumen and its commercialization over the next few years is expected to offer opportunities for the bitumen market. Furthermore, development of bio-bitumen is anticipated to ease the production pressure on the depleting fossil fuel reserves.

Paving grade bitumen, which is used in roadway application as a binder for asphalt, was the largest consumed type of bitumen in 2013. It accounted for over 65% of the market share in 2013.

Polymer modified bitumen (PMB) is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the market due to its increasing demand in road construction and roofing applications. Polymer modified bitumen is increasingly used in construction of roadways and waterproofing applications as it offers various advantages such as heating at lower temperatures, ability to increase porosity of roads and enhancement of performance of the applications.

With over 80% share in 2013, road construction was the largest application segment for bitumen due to its high viscosity and stickiness.

Other applications of bitumen include its usage in roofing industry, paints and enamels, adhesives, automotives and decorative applications, and as an insulator in electrical and electronics industry.

Focus of national governments of China and India on improving road network and the consequent inclusion of the same in the five-year plans is anticipated to fuel growth of bitumen in Asia Pacific over the next six years.

However, waterproofing is expected to be the fastest growing application of bitumen during the forecast period, due to growth in infrastructure activities in developing countries such as China and India.

North America was the largest consumer of bitumen in 2013 due to the significant network of roads in the U.S. The region accounted for over 30% of the market in 2013.

Redevelopment and repair of existent roads accounts for the primary consumption of bitumen in this region. This is in contrast to emerging economies where the consumption is driven by development of new infrastructure.

However, Asia Pacific (including China) is expected to be the fastest growing market for bitumen during the forecast period due to rapid industrialization in the region. This is expected to drive infrastructure development in the next few years.

The bitumen market is highly fragmented, with the top eight companies accounting for approximately 39% of the total market share in 2013. Leading bitumen manufacturing companies include Shell Bitumen, NuStar Energy, ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil Company and Valero Energy Corporation.

Source - Transparency Market Research

October 8, 2015

Nigeria Missed the Bus Again - This time Not Crude But Bitumen

Iriele is a small community situated in Ondo State and the indigenes have high demands for development. Over the years, they have dreamt of the day when bitumen would be exploited, creating job opportunities, infrastructure and economic prosperity. The people of this town consider bitumen as a God endowed heritage which should be harnessed immediately to create jobs, deliver infrastructure and reduce the hardship they face daily. 

Those dreams have not become reality up till now, denting their hopes and leaving them frustrated as the indigenes of these towns wait endlessly for the government to attract the needed investment.

In the light of the foregoing, is the wider debate about Nigeria’s rich mineral reserve and the failure of the government to properly utilise the wealth of the nation to the betterment of lives of the citizenry. This belief is voiced by majority of the ordinary people in this bitumen bearing community including border communities like Agbabu and Ilubirin.

Nigeria is the sixth largest bitumen deposit in the world with most of the reserve found in Ondo State. However, there’s a wider debate about Nigeria’s rich mineral reserves and the failure of the government to properly utilize the wealth of the nation to the betterment of lives of the citizenry.

This belief is voiced by majority of the ordinary people in this bitumen bearing community including border communities like Agbabu and lIubirin. They have argued that since 

Nigeria’s crude might no longer generate sufficient revenue to run the nation’s economy, there should be an alternative to fall back on. In the perspective of these pro-bitumen agitators, bitumen is a guaranteed option as Nigeria re-defines its roadmap to economic recovery.

A lawmaker representing the Irele-Agbabu State Constituency in Ondo State House of Assembly, and one of the key proponents of bitumen Honourable Afolabi Iwalewa, thinks that the wobbly situation of Nigeria’s oil is a wakeup call for the exploitation of bitumen:

“ Any moment from now, crude oil will fade off. Look at what is happening now with the talk of oil theft. Every state is crying now, even the Federal Government is crying that it is not getting what it used to get from oil. What is the Federal Government doing, and why can’t we find another alternative? If crude oil is not going to fetch us what we project (in terms of revenue), why can’t we switch over to bitumen?”

Another standpoint of Honourable Iwalewa’s pro-bitumen advocacy is that the non-exploitation of the resource is causing people in these communities a lot of trouble because they have to cope with the reality of spill ravaging precious farmlands where bitumen is found so close to the surface that a simple shovel can excavate the glossy black substance.

Bitumen is found in tar sands, which is also a combination of clay, sand and water. A heavy black viscous substance, oil-rich bitumen is extracted from tar sands, which is then refined into oil. The bitumen in tar sands cannot be pumped from the ground in its natural state; instead tar sand deposits are mined, usually using strip mining or open pit techniques, or the oil is extracted by underground heating with additional upgrading.

In essence, it involves a complex process that will certainly disrupt their lives and livelihoods beyond what they can imagine. This is what the people of the bitumen bearing communities in Ondo State are calling for when they appeal for the exploitation of the resource in their soil.

Taking a closer look at the experience of Canada, the biggest producer of tar sands globally, shows that exploitation has actually resulted in serious damage to the local communities and the environment. The clearing of vast area which is a component of the mining process is responsible for the Canadian moon-landscape we see in Alberta, Canada, where large forest with pristine trees that sprawled across its landscape now looks more like a waste land ravaged by the exploration of bitumen.

In spite of all of the warnings pointing at the dangers of venturing into tar sands exploitation, especially the apparent impacts of livelihoods of ordinary people due to the far reaching implications for the environment, including the lands and water bodies, the people in the bitumen bearing communities have inclined to brush these opinions aside.

Olofun of lrele, Oba Olarenwajulebi, the octogenarian traditional ruler of the Irele community, for instance, criticizes talk of possible environmental hazards if bitumen were to be extracted in the area. He brags about of what his realm would look like if development were to prevail, using bitumen as the tool.

“If development were to succeed the way the people of this area want it, this town would have looked like Lagos. I say so because bitumen will provide a lot of employment for all the youths in this area, not in Irele alone, but all over the Southern senatorial district and even in the whole of Ondo State. The bitumen deposit here is a very huge one. It is the second largest in the world, according to the survey conducted by some experts,” he enthused.
And on the Canadian experience he explained: 

“In Canada, they do it in Calgary, and I have been there. They don’t drive away communities, and they replenish the soil. Where they mine the bitumen, they mix the soil with some chemicals, and restore it for the farmers to go back there and farm. And when those people were working here, I talked to them and they told me that even if they have to relocate some communities, they will have to build some fine buildings for them, and that the exploitation won’t affect much of their lands. It is something that they will dig from the ground; and it won’t affect us adversely.”

There’s no doubt that the allure of jobs, development and the improvement they envisage that bitumen development would give to their communities has strengthened their resolve to continue campaigning for the exploration of their God-given wealth. Any attempt to make the pro-bitumen agitators to consider the consequences is usually met with cold shoulders.

However, a geologist at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Professor Peter Odeyemi offered a much more balanced picture of the realities on the ground. Odeyemi, who was a member of the defunct Federal Government’s Bitumen Implementation Committee (BIC) made a poignant observation when he noted that the mere presence of a resource does not necessarily translate into commercially viable deposits.


“The first thing is that how much is there? We don’t know! We need to carry out further work in that area in the first instance. Secondly, exploration can be carried out by an oil company because bitumen is a hydro-carbon but also there are difficulties (technical difficulties). If an oil company is going to carry out an exploration there, there is an interest, financial one. This company will calculate how much it’s going to get. It will also look at certain technical issues and the ease of exploitation. This is so because although both of them are hydro-carbon, one is easier to exploit than the other.

Also,how will you exploit without exposing the soil to direct rain fall impact, denudation, erosion and degradation. So they have generation of enlightened professors and everything. The place is highly enlightened and the environmental issues are potent here like in Europe. If you look at the Niger Delta, the people just welcomed oil companies with open hands not knowing that oil companies are devils. They are only interested in profits. They are not in any way interested in environmental sustainability, in flora, in fauna and even in the development of the people,” he said.

He continued: “Our problem is not bitumen; our problem is corruption. What do we do with the money we have been getting from oil? The one we are exploiting, what are we doing with it? The people are getting poorer; there is no electricity, water, healthcare, and education. This is despite the fact that we are making trillions of dollars. So, if we now exploit bitumen and add another trillion, we are just going to multiply the corruption,” Odeyemi concluded.

There is no doubt that the exploration of bitumen will have a heavy toll on the environment of Iriele, and neighboring Agbabu and IIlubirin Communities in Ondo State. Water will be polluted, farmlands destroyed, large expanse of forest will be brought down and communities destroyed. Is this kind if cost these communities are willing to pay or are their alternative development paths that communities can take that will have more sustainable economic impact? As the federal government plans to diversify the economy, and explore mining of solid minerals as an alternative, there’s no gainsaying that the environment must be protected even as the nation seeks improved economic fortune.


Inwerogu wrote from Lagos

September 24, 2015

Bitumen Roads still Better ?

THE second stage of the Hindley St West redevelopment will retain the bitumen road surface after the disastrous results when slippery pavers were installed last year.
The council’s city design and transport manager, Daniel Bennett, said the second stage of the redevelopment, between Register and Morphett streets, would include wider footpaths, more lighting and tree planting but not use pavers on the road.
The pavers used in the first stage did not provide enough grip for motorists, particularly in wet conditions, and the speed limit had to be slashed to 10km/h to ensure safety.
A special “grit coating” was trialled on sections of the pavers in January, before being installed in April, when the speed limit was increased to 30km/h.
The $2 million second stage is still in the concept design phase but the council expects it to start in 2016.
Lord Mayor Martin Haese said the project was vital to the ongoing revitalisation of the West End.
“It supports recent developments, such as the SA Medical and Health Research Institute, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and UniSA, as well as encouraging more people to the area,” he said.
“The hard work put into developing the footpath upgrade with the community will help improve links within the West End Precinct to new developments on North Terrace.
“This process to renew and invigorate Hindley West really has been a team effort with the local community playing an important role.
“I’m sure we’ll all be very proud of the end result, with great new elements like greening, lighting and outdoor dining spaces.
“Collaborating with the community on these exciting improvements to our public spaces leads to further private investment that creates new jobs and exciting opportunities for our city.”
Mr Bennett said the second stage of the project would be jointly funded by the council and the State Government.
“We were very pleased to receive $1 million from the State Government and (the) council will be matching that funding,” he said.
Mr Bennett, said no decision had been made on how to permanently fix the slippery pavers from the first stage of the redevelopment.
“At the moment we are still assessing it (the grit treatment) and we will decide whether to patch it, reapply it or to find another solution,” he said.
The first stage cost $4 million and included contributions from the Adelaide City Council along with state and federal governments.
The development was criticised at the time by local traders because of delays and a loss of foot traffic while construction was ongoing.
Originally published as Slippery pavers dumped from Hindley St second upgrade
Source - theaustralian.com.au