Showing posts with label color bitumen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label color bitumen. Show all posts

October 10, 2016

TOT or Advance Selling of Human Traffic Loads ?

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is preparing to start the process of monetizing toll-based operational road assets under the toll, operate and transfer (TOT) model, aimed to bring new investments to the highways sector.

“We have not as yet floated tenders to monetize road assets, but are preparing to do so. We expect to begin doing this in 2-3 months’ time under the TOT model,” NHAI chairman Raghav Chandra said in an email response to queries from Mint.

This will be India’s first exercise in auctioning NHAI’s operational projects after a cabinet clearance in August. The proceeds will fund new highway projects under various models.

NHAI is currently working on the guidelines for TOT, under which the investor will collect tolls and be responsible for operation and maintenance of the project. The TOT model will be essential to attract long-term foreign investment, financial investors and investment bankers told Mint.

NHAI can lease up to 75 national highway projects which are fetching tolls for at least two years to various entities on the TOT model. The overall annual toll collected from these projects is about Rs2,700 crore, against which NHAI can expect to raise Rs25,000-30,000 crore by granting 30-year concessions, said Ashish Agarwal, director (infrastructure) at investment bank Equirus Capital.

The TOT model is long overdue, said Gautam Bhandari, partner at I Squared Capital, a US-based investor in road projects. “We are hopeful that NHAI finally does launch its TOT programme so that it can serve as a model for other sectors as well. As a global investor, we believe that NHAI’s TOT model, if executed properly, could be a win-win for everyone. Proceeds from TOT auctions will free up valuable taxpayer capital that can then be recycled for much-needed new infrastructure projects,” he said.

I Squared is looking to invest as much as $1 billion in Indian infrastructure. It has invested more than Rs1,000 crore through its investment platform Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte. Ltd in three road projects so far.

IDFC Alternatives, which has bought controlling stakes in operational road projects, is waiting to see the fine print. “The good part is that in the TOT model, there are far less variables and concerns to be addressed as compared to projects with embedded construction risks. The differences in the bids here would be more a function of how differently each investor views the traffic growth rates, maintenance costs, synergies with other projects in one’s portfolio, if any,” said Aditya Aggarwal, partner (infrastructure), IDFC Alternatives.

There is significant interest from international infrastructure funds in the Indian road sector, said Rahul Mody, managing director, Ambit Corporate Finance Pvt. Ltd. “The TOT model is an excellent idea. The model takes away two key risks in the road sector—delays or cost overruns and initial traffic discovery—as the assets that will be offered under this (model) will be operational with some tolling history; hence it should attract considerable interest from Indian companies as well as foreign investors,” Mody said.

“The model can be an avenue for NHAI to raise upfront capital to fund the EPC and HAM projects; opportunity to feed the increasing number of pension funds and infrastructure investors having access to low cost capital and further deepen the infrastructure market; and allowing players to choose better the nature of risk-reward play they want to play in the road sector,” Agarwal said.

Source- LiveMint

September 29, 2016

Global Bitumen Market

The global bitumen market is forecast to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of four percent between 2015 to 2020, and the world’s largest energy traders such as the Vitol Group and the Trafigura Group Pte. are in a race to increase their market share.

The bitumen market was valued at around $75 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $94 billion in 2020, according to a report by Zion Research, titled, “Bitumen (Paving Bitumen, Oxidized Bitumen, Cutback Bitumen, Bitumen Emulsion, Polymer Modified Bitumen and Others) Market for Roadways, Waterproofing, Adhesives, Insulation and Other Applications - Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2014 – 2020”.

Bitumen is a semi-solid form of petroleum, which is used to make asphalt for roads, waterproofing for roofs, insulation, and adhesives. It is either obtained by distillation of petroleum or is available naturally, such as in Canada’s oil sands.

Bitumen is used mainly in road manufacturing. A surge in road construction activity in Asia will propel growth for the product going forward. 75 percent of the global consumption of bitumen was used for road construction in 2014.

Waterproofing of roofing and building construction was the second major consumer of bitumen in 2014. Increased construction of homes to cater for the growing population is likely to add to the bitumen demand in the future.

Along with roofing, polymer modified bitumen (PMB), which is used as a chemical additive and adhesive, will witness rapid growth compared to other forms of bitumen.

Trucks, trains, and barges have been used traditionally to transport bitumen from refineries to local consumers; however, a drop in supply from the aging refineries in the U.S. and Europe has necessitated the use of oceangoing tankers, to supply the material from its source of production to the end consumer.

Vitol, the largest independent oil-trading house teamed up with U.S.-based Sargeant Marine Inc., which distributes asphalt to customers worldwide to form Valt, which operates the world’s largest dedicated asphalt fleet, handling parcel sizes from 20 metric tons up to 37,000 metric tons through its fleet of fourteen specialist vessels, according to its website.

“It used to be mostly a small distribution business,” Chris Bake, a senior executive at Rotterdam-based Vitol, said in an interview. “Now it is more of a whole arbitrage business requiring a global reach and shipping capacity,” reports Bloomberg.

Trafigura group is also not far behind. Its Singapore-based unit, Puma Energy has added four new bitumen vessels, taking the total number of vessels to 11, which cater to the Asian markets.

“We see a definite upward trend in the number of nautical miles for bitumen,” said Valt Chief Commercial Officer Nick Fay, who estimates an annual increase of about 7 percent. “All the new refineries that are getting built don’t make bitumen,” reports Bloomberg.

The Guvnor Group is planning to invest in the Perth Amboy asphalt refinery and storage facility in New Jersey, which has been shut since 2008, reports Bloomberg.

There is hardly any public information about the bitumen market, which makes it ideal for the large energy traders, who use their energy expertise and global connection to supply to far-off markets.

“There is a perception that the world is going to be more disconnected -- supply and demand-wise -- and we are there to help connect the dots,” Klintholm said.

Nonetheless, increased use of asphalt for roads and environmental concerns with bitumen manufacturing could pose a risk for the growth of the bitumen industry in the future.

By Rakesh Upadhyay for

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

February 18, 2016

Water Over and Under Bitumen

Repairs continue on Northern Territory's Buntine Highway after massive flood washes away sections of road

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Updated 18 minutes ago
The clean-up is continuing after recent severe flooding across the Top End's Victoria River District caused sections of the Buntine Highway to be washed away.
Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.

  00:00             00:00       
AUDIO: Gordon Atkinson from the NT Department of Infrastructure says five-metre sections of Buntine Highway bitumen were lifted and carried away by rushing water(ABC Rural)
The NT Department of Infrastructure has confirmed that whole five-metre sections of bitumen had lifted and been carried away by rushing water.
The department's Gordon Atkinson said the rain events had been bigger than anything seen over the past 10 years.
He said it was normal for road surfaces to be ripped up by such intense events.
"The bitumen has water running over the top of it and the water gets underneath and helps to lift it as well, a bit like an aeroplane wing," he said.
Mr Atkinson said the priority was to repair damage and make the highway operational, and that a longer road improvement would continue in the background.
"All our major repairs are finished, so the Buntine Highway is open to major traffic and there are no weight restrictions," Mr Atkinson said.
He said the last bits of resealing required would happen soon and drivers were safely doing 100 kilometres per hour over those sections.
Mr Atkinson said the "mountains of organic debris" left on bridges had been largely cleaned up, with a large quantity of snakes and spiders keeping workers on their toes.
"Nobody got bitten," Mr Atkinson said. "They are used to it now. They've got gloves on, they are using pitchforks, poles and chainsaws on long chain bars.
"They are ready to start running when the snakes appear."

February 3, 2016

Kuwait's Road Project

Mushrif Trading and Contracting Company (MTCC), a leading civil construction firm, said it has been awarded a KD14 million ($46 million) contract for road works aimed at improving traffic flow at Al Bidda Roundabout in the Kuwait City.

The MTCC contract signed by Ministry of Public Works is one of several projects in its pipeline to upgrade and improve the country's road network. It is expected to be completed in the next two years.

Located on the city's eastern coastline where Al Blajat Street meets Al Ta'awon Street and the Fifth Ring Road, Al Bidda Roundabout is a busy junction that often suffers from a slowdown in the flow of traffic.

Given existent construction in the area surrounding Al Bidda Roundabout, no changes will be made to its current size and shape, said a statement from the contractor.

As per the deal, Mushrif 's role will be to construct a grade separated interchange at a north-south axis along the coastal roads, said a senior official.

"Mushrif has been a long-standing partner to the Ministry of Public Works on several projects over the last four decades and has delivered over 20 road projects since," remarked its chief executive Chris Preece.

"We are proud to be an integral part of Kuwait's ongoing development efforts and it's not only about improving traffic conditions, but playing a lead role in 'building' Kuwait," he stated.

According to Preeece, this is the second road contract to be awarded to Mushrif within the last four months.

"We had outbid nine major international and local contractors with an offer at KD82.8 million ($272 million) for ministry tender for a 40-km road serving new developments in the cities of Sabah Al Ahmad and Mina Abdulla including the Mina Abdulla industrial area, and allow for safe access to and from Al Wafra," he added.

In addition to protecting and relocating utilities in the area, Mushrif will be managing traffic during the construction phase to keep the busy Al Bidda Roundabout operational as per Ministry of Interior (MoI) requirements, revealed Preece.

It will also work closely with MoI to install ducting, cabling and CCTV masts for future traffic surveillance and management, while relocating existing security cameras, he added.-

Source - TradeArabia News Service

December 15, 2015

Heavy Crude Spill Study

Refugio Rupture Informs Heavy Crude Spill Study
Environmental Consequence of Diluted Bitumen Spills Analyzed

A new study states that diluted bitumen, a raw material used as a feedstock in oil refineries, turns into a “heavy, viscous, particle-laden residue” after days of exposure, say, in ocean water after an incident like the Refugio Oil Spill.

That’s not unlike the type of oil found on the beach and in the water by the people who attempted to restore the shore this past May.

The heavy crude that befouled Refugio may not literally be diluted bitumen, explained UCSB geochemist David Valentine, but it has characteristics that are more like diluted bitumen than the lighter oils to which current spill response is tailored.

For instance, heavy crude tends to sink instead of float on the surface, and it is very sticky. Valentine is among the authors of the paper and also a scientist researching the aftermath of Refugio, which gave a first-hand case study of spill response.

The environmental risks of crude oil transport have been recognized since Santa Barbara’s blowout in 1969, the study says, and the 2010 bitumen spill into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, among others, caused the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ask scientists if the potential environmental consequences of a bitumen spill were significantly different from a spill of “light” or “medium” crude.

Often extracted from tar sands, bitumen is too viscous to flow readily through pipelines, and oil producers commonly dilute it with lighter oils or condensed natural gas for pipeline transport. The study, titled “Spills of Diluted Bitumen from Pipelines:

A Comparative Study of Environmental Fate, Effects, and Response,” explains that “weathering” causes rapid physical and chemical changes to diluted bitumen after a spill, making it stickier and more dense than water.

The heavy crude from Canadian tar sands is commonly diluted, and the study lays out the Keystone pipeline proposal to move crude from Canada and other existing and proposed pipelines around the nation. (Though the study states the majority of California’s crude is moved through heated pipes, in Santa Barbara County, the main transport pipelines are insulated, not heated, and carry oil that has been heated and blended with natural gas liquids, according to the county’s Energy Division.)

The report, prepared for the DOT and published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, also states its findings translate to transport such as truck and rail.

“Although many differences between diluted bitumen and other crude oils are well established, some remaining areas of uncertainty hamper effective responses to spills,” said Valentine, a professor of microbial geochemistry in the Department of Earth Science, in a UCSB press release.

“Further research is needed in a range of areas, including the ecological and human health risks posed by weathered diluted bitumen, techniques to capture submerged oil in moving water, and the application of advanced chemical approaches to understand the compositional changes to diluted bitumen in the environment.”

Given the new information about diluted bitumen, the report makes recommendations that the Coast Guard reclassify the substance as a nonfloating oil and that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) create a database to predict possible locations of future bitumen spills.

It further advises the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is a branch of the DOT, to modify transport rules to recognize the special hazards presented by diluted bitumen.

Source- The Independent

October 20, 2015

Reverse Split and Merger- Sign of Consolidation in Bitumen Industry

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Epcylon Technologies, Inc. (OTC PINK:PRFC) ("Epcylon" or the "Company") announces that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bitumen Capital Inc. (TSXV: BTM.H) ("Bitumen") whereby Bitumen and Epcylon will enter into an Asset Purchase Agreement (as defined hereunder) (the "Transaction") which will constitute Bitumen's qualifying transaction (the "Qualifying Transaction"), as per Policy 2.4 of the TSX Venture Exchange (the "Exchange" or "TSXV").

Pursuant to the terms of the MOU, subject to execution of a definitive asset purchase agreement ("Asset Purchase Agreement") and receipt of applicable regulatory and Exchange approvals, Bitumen will issue to Epcylon's shareholders 182,202,994 common shares of the CPC in exchange for all the assets of the Company, as further agreed upon by the Parties. The MOU is intended to be binding upon the Parties until execution of the definitive Asset Purchase Agreement.

There are currently 13,150,001 common shares of the CPC issued and outstanding and 1,315,000 allotted stock options entitling the holders, certain officers and directors of Bitumen to acquire common shares of the CPC (the "Stock Option(s)"). Each Stock Option entitles its holder to acquire a common share of the CPC at a price of $0.10 per common share at any time up to October 17, 2017. Upon completion of the Transaction, all of the 1,315,000 issued and outstanding Stock Options to officers and directors of Bitumen shall be cancelled.

Prior to closing of the Transaction, Bitumen will complete a reverse split of its common shares consisting in one (1) old share for 0.538 new shares, resulting in an aggregate number of 7,000,000 issued and outstanding common shares of Bitumen.

Current shareholders of Bitumen will hold approximately 3.7 per cent and current holders of the Company will hold approximately 96.3 per cent of the resulting issuer's common shares issued and outstanding before giving effect to the Private Placement described below.

The Transaction is not a "Non-Arm's Length Transaction" under the Exchange's policies.

Concurrently with the Qualifying Transaction, the parties intend to complete a non brokered private placement for total proceeds of USD$1,000,000 consisting of secured convertible debentures with a three (3) year term and yielding at 8 per cent at a price of US$0.20 per secured convertible debenture and one half share purchase warrant, each whole share purchase warrant entitling its holder to purchase one common share of the Resulting Issuer at a price of USD$0.30 per common share within 24 months from the date of the issuance of the warrant (the "Private Placement").

Closing and final acceptance of the Transaction are subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including the completion of a satisfactory due diligence, the execution of the Asset Purchase Agreement, obtaining required approval by shareholders, if applicable, third party and regulatory authorities and completion of the Private Placement. There are no guarantees that the Qualifying Transaction will be completed as proposed or at all.

- See more at:

October 30, 2014

Readymade Bitumen

Coimbatore Mayor P. Rajkumar (second right) with Commissioner S. Ganesh (right) and Deputy Commissioner P. Gandhimathi (third right) inspecting the wet tar mix that was applied on a pothole on experimental basis on Thadagam Road on Tuesday. – PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN
Coimbatore Mayor P. Rajkumar (second right) with Commissioner S. Ganesh (right) and Deputy Commissioner P. Gandhimathi (third right) inspecting the wet tar mix that was applied on a pothole on experimental basis on Thadagam Road on Tuesday. – PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

It can be used as easily as dumping gravel in potholes

Coimbatore Corporation has begun exploring the possibility of using readymade bitumen mix to fill potholes, whose various incarnations are across the city. 

The suggestion for using the readymade bitumen, which could be used with as much ease as dumping gravel in potholes, came after Mayor P. Rajkumar, Commissioner S. Ganesh and Deputy Commissioner P. Gandhimathi inspected the use of the bitumen mix, called ‘Road Bond’, on Thadagam Road on Tuesday.
Hindustan Colas Limited, a unit of Hindustan Petroleum, has been marketing to various government agencies, the use of the bitumen mix, which has unheated mineral aggregate and emulsified bitumen.

V. Vijayaraghavan, Regional Business Head – South Zone, says that the Chennai Corporation has taken up the suggestion to use Road Bond to not only fill potholes but also lay roads.

The advantages of using the product are that no heating is required, it has consistent mix quality, has resistance to peel off under traffic, is environment friendly and needs minimum human resource to be spread on the road. 

He says that after the company mooted the proposal to the Central Government the product is being used in laying rural roads. Another plus is that Road Bond can be used even when the surface is wet and it is drizzling. Commissioner Mr. Ganesh says that the civic body has to study the impact of using the product, its quality, longevity and above all the economics of the process.

Source- The Hindu

September 12, 2014

Less Bitumen in the Coming Days

FM Conway has forged a deal with ExxonMobil to import bitumen from its refinery near Antwerp in Belgium

First delivery to Imperial Wharf bitumen terminal  
 First delivery to Imperial Wharf bitumen terminal

The bitumen lands at FM Conway’s new Imperial Wharf site on the River Thames in Gravesend, Kent, which has gone through a £2.5m refurbishment. The wharf has the capacity to dock and store up to 7,500 tonnes of bitumen.

The refurbished facility and jetty will also provide the capacity for FM Conway to import and store a variety of other construction materials.

CEO Michael Conway said: “With global bitumen refinery capacity decreasing, there is a trend for less bitumen to be available. This new collaboration with ExxonMobil allows us to secure a long-term supply of bitumen, giving us full control over our supply and allowing us to cut input costs and, crucially, give security of supply to clients and partners.”

Source -The Construction

August 5, 2013

Cold Bitumen for Pot-Hole Filling

The city-based NGO,  ‘Better Kochi Response Group’ (BKRG), which has mooted the idea of using cold mix or cold bitumen for filling the potholes in the city, conducted a demonstration in this regard on Saturday.
BKRG, which is an NGO authorised by the state government to co-ordinate the PWD infrastructure activities in the city, carried out the  demonstration on a pothole in front of KMA building.

According to BKRG, filling potholes with cold mix or cold bitumen can be done even on rainy days and does not need much labour, equipment or heating.

“In this method, an average-sized pothole can be filled single-handedly and takes only 10 to 15 minutes.
“Since no heating or melting is involved, there is no air pollution and it is very safe for workers. It does not disturb traffic around the section where the work is being carried out and there is no sound pollution either”, according to a statement issued by BKRG here.

The demonstration was carried out by Muralidharan Kurup who represents Shell Company and the product used was Shelmac PR. Initially, the potholes were cleaned and stagnant water was removed.
The product, which comes in ready mix condition in packets, was spread on the pot hole and levelled and rammed by a single labourer. “The whole filling process took less than 20 minutes and the road, which was in a wet condition, was ready to use instantly”, the BKRG statement added.

Kochi mayor Tony Chammany, Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) chairman N  Venugopal, deputy mayor B Bhadra, GCDA town planner Gopalakrishnan, Kochi corporation town planning standing committee chairman K J Sohan and officials from PWD and other agencies were also present on the occasion.

“Later, the GCDA chairman’s car was driven over the repaired area twice and the patch work remained intact without any damage”, said the officebearers of BKRG.

Source - Indian Express

May 22, 2013

Diluted Bitumen is More Corrosive and unhealthy - Protestors

Activists’ latest rally targets Enbridge pipeline project
LIZ BERNIER, The Observer
A major protest gathered outside City Hall Tuesday as a group of local activists joined to protest new developments with Sarnia’s oil pipeline.The Enbridge Line 9 Project, which would use a preexisting pipeline to carry diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to Eastern Canada, was the focus of the protest.

Over 50 people participated in the protest, which began outside Sarnia City Hall and ended outside the Best Western hotel, where a two-day conference on the value of bitumen oil is taking place.The protest was organized by Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines (ASAP), a local activist group that was formed in response to the Enbridge Line 9 Project.

ASAP organizers are concerned about the effect diluted bitumen will have on the preexisting pipeline, which was built in the 1970s.

Protest Organizer Samatha Elijah said that the pipeline was not designed to carry bitumen, which ASAP argues is more corrosive than the light crude oil that the pipeline currently carries.

“The reason why I got involved — because of my children,” she said. “What are they going to inheret if I don’t do anything? So I want as a parent to do the responsible thing for my kids.”

“The only benefit to these tar sands is money. But what good is money if you have sick children? What good is money if the land that you walk on is diesased and polluted?” Protestors came from Toronto, Hamilton and Windsor to support ASAP’s cause.

“There are already different groups all along the pipeline route that are just as invested,” Elijah said.
The Idle No More movement also had a strong presence, particularly since the Line 9 Project crosses 18 different First Nations Territories.

Ken Hall, Enbridge’s Senior Advisor of Public Affairs for Eastern Canada, said that the protestors are misinformed about diluted bitumen.

“They are making the claim that diluted bitumen is more corrsive to piplines, and therefore it creates a higher risk,” he said. “This is not true.”

“There are several reports that have been prepared by scientific groups, by independant consultants, by universities, all of which conculde that there is no evidence to suggest pipelines that carry diluted bitumen are more subject to corrosion than pipelines that are carrying other types of oil.”

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association lists a number of these studies on their website, Hall said.
“We’re very aware of the feelings of people in Ontario such as the (ASAP) group that’s protesting, who have this concern about the pipelines,” he said. “So we’re doing everything that we can do to ensure that our pipelines operate safely. And that is our number one priority.”

But Elijah remains unconvinced.
“The only benefit that (the pipeline) has is economic,” she said. “But you’re willing to risk health, you’re willing to risk the environment, you’re willing to risk your future generations for pieces of paper.”
“To me that does not add up.”
--- --- ---

The facts on Line 9:

• The Line 9 pipeline was built in 1976 and runs from Sarnia to Montreal.
• The Line 9 Project is a reversal of the flow of oil. Currently, oil is coming from east to west (Montreal to Sarnia). The Line 9 project will cause the oil to move from west to eat (Sarnia to Montreal), so that Quebec and Eastern Canada have access to bitumen from Western Canada.
• Line 9A is Located between Sarnia and Westover. The reversal plan has already been approved by the National Energy Board for line 9A.
• Line 9B is the section of pipline between Westover and Montreal. Approval is pending for Line 9B.
• The Line 9 pipeline passes through nearly 100 communities and many major rivers and streams that flow into Lake Ontario.

Source - The Observer

May 9, 2013

Bitumen Bandits is Australia - Unfair Trade Practices

MT Larcom residents have been warned to be wary if approached by traders offering bitumen laying or other home maintenance services.

The Office of Fair Trading is investigating a number of reports of a group of itinerant traders offering bitumen laying services in the area.

Typically these operators do a substandard job which then has be fixed by a qualified trader, costing twice as much.

Residents are urged to be wary if approached by traders offering bitumen laying or other home maintenance in return for upfront cash payment. Fair Trading said bitumen bandits usually claimed they were working on construction sites in the area and offered to do the job for a low price with leftover material.

It is illegal for door-to-door traders to take any upfront payments or deposits for services valued at more than $100. Consumers must also be given a 10 business day cooling-off period and be provided with documentation to enable them to cancel the contract at any stage during this period.

Residents should also be wary of traders with no business address or those that can only cite a post office box, suite number, email address or mobile phone as their contact details.

Anyone with concerns about traders who have approached them door-to-door should take notes about the trader and the registration number of their vehicle, and contact the Office of Fair Trading via or call 13 74 68. 

Source -Centraltelegraph

April 26, 2013

Bitumen Shortage- A relook at Cement Roads

South Africa is working to boost the supply of bitumen amid a nationwide shortage which is affecting the construction of roads, encouraging cement firms to dream of a shift to concrete roads. For years, cement companies have tried to get road authorities to choose cement which would then be made into concrete.
Yet bitumen has been found to be cheaper and quicker to work with. This is even if concrete roads last longer.

The South African National Roads Agency’s (Sanral’s) multibillion-rand road-upgrade and road-building plans were hindered last year because of shortages of bitumen, which stemmed from unplanned shutdowns at refineries.

Bitumen is a sticky, black and viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. It is made from the distillation of crude oil. It has been used for years in SA to cover roads and fill potholes.

The shortages meant South Africa had to import bitumen from Singapore and Malaysia at a premium of about 20%. But road building firms such as Raubex and Basil Read have secured supply for this year in order to avoid losses from delayed projects.

Over the past few years, more and more companies have focused on building bitumen concentrated roads and not concrete ones. Some of South Africa’s highways have been made from concrete, but concrete’s relatively poor handling of rain, and related car accidents, has added to the popularity of bitumen.

Last year, road upgrade projects were affected in the Eastern Cape and Cape Town, which included the MyCiTi Integrated Rapid Transit feeder bus-stop contracts. Cape Town imported 4,500 tons of bitumen from Malaysia in May last year, says Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, roads and storm water.

Listed construction company Basil Read fell behind schedule with its contract for the N12 highway-Tom Jones Road project in Gauteng. As part of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, Basil Read is upgrading the Tom Jones and Rietfontein interchanges on the N12 in the East Rand. But a lack of bitumen slowed the project and cost Basil Read millions of rand.

Road builders have found methods to keep their bitumen work going. Basil Read is establishing a plant in the Western Cape to maintain specific grade bitumen. Bitumen will be supplied from a Western Cape refinery being built with the help of a New Zealand company.

Basil Read’s MD, Dave Bennett, is confident that bitumen supply countrywide will remain under control this year."We have our plant to support us, but even without it, the oil refineries are back on track.
"We are getting enough bitumen for this year. The main thing we need though is for there not to be sudden shutdowns. At this stage, we just expect to see maintenance work on the refineries when construction companies close late in 2013 for builders holidays," he says.

He says concrete will not be used instead of bitumen, regardless of any threats to supply.
"Concrete roads can be very good but they are expensive to build. They may last longer but they also do not take to extreme weather like heavy rains like bitumen roads do," he says.

The stretch of the N1 highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria was mostly concrete, but a layer of bitumen was added to it recently, because of the number of road accidents in wet weather, he says.
"You’ll find that some of our highways are concrete. They have been built to last. However, we must bear in mind that they have cost a lot to build and the authorities would only spend so much money on main highways in the future. These roads are likely to have bitumen layers because of the experience of accidents on the concrete highway from Johannesburg to Pretoria," Mr Bennett says.

Listed road construction and rehabilitation group Raubex recently bought Tosas, a maker of value-added bituminous products, from Sasol Oil for R120m.The acquisition provides Raubex with bitumen processing and storage facilities in South Africa, and extends its footprint to Botswana and Namibia.

"Following an assessment of the strategic fit of the downstream bitumen business, Sasol Oil decided to dispose of its interest in Tosas," Sasol group said on Monday. Tosas makes modified bitumen, which includes rubber or synthetic latex. It is a durable and more elastic product with greater temperature stability.
Raubex CEO Rudolf Fourie says the acquisition gave the group the ability to work with bitumen in-house and provides 50% of its bitumen needs.

Brian Perrie, MD of the Cement and Concrete Institute, still believes there is a case for concrete roads. He says cement is safer to drive on irrespective of the weather threats. "It reflects light better than bitumen does, making it easier to drive at night. It offers built-in skid resistance and improved traction, for safer driving. It can be grooved for improved run-off, preventing aquaplaning in wet conditions."

It is also quieter than bitumen when cars drive over it, and raw materials, including cement, sand, stone and water are readily available in South Africa. "Concrete roads are viable in South Africa. They are quicker to build and require labour intensive methods which empowers local communities and creates employment. Concrete plants, unlike oil refineries, can operate all year round," Mr Perrie says.

Pieter Fourie, CEO of cement firm Sephaku, says he believes concrete should be the primary road building material in SA because bitumen requires too much maintenance.

Source - BDLive