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

January 16, 2016

Green Bitumen from Canada

PACIFIC FUTURE ENERGY, which is planning to build the world’s “greenest bitumen-to-fuels refinery” in Canada has announced plans to transport bitumen to the refinery by rail in a near-solid “neatbit” state.
The company initially announced that it would build the C$15bn (US$10bn) refinery on the British Columbian coast back in 2014, and would export refined products, rather than raw bitumen, to Asia. It has now submitted a full formal project description, produced by SNC Lavalin, to Canadian regulators. The refinery will refine bitumen from oilsands in western Canada.
Bitumen is usually transported by pipeline as “dilbit”, a diluted, more fluid version containing about 70% bitumen and 30% diluent, or by rail as “railbit”, which contains around 88% bitumen. Pacific Future Energy, however, believes that transporting neatbit, which is as the name suggests, 100% bitumen, is more environmentally sound. 
The company describes neatbit as having “a consistency similar to peanut butter”, which does not flow unless heated. It has very low flammability, is stable, and is classified as non-dangerous for transport. In the rare chance of a train derailment or a crash, the bitumen could not flow anywhere and would be much easier to clean up, minimising environmental damage. 
First Nations groups and environmentalists alike have criticised plans for pipelines through pristine landscapes. In addition, Pacific Future Energy has pledged to use TC-117 railcars, a new model specifically designed for oil transport.
Pacific Future Energy has selected an area known as the Dubose Flats in which to build the 200,000 bbl/d refinery. The refinery will be powered by wood waste biomass, from the local forestry industry, and the company claims its net carbon emissions will be near zero. 
Exporting refined products will pose less of a risk than raw bitumen to the marine environment in the case of a spill. The refinery is expected to create 3,500 jobs during construction and 1,000 during operation.
“Not only would our proposal provide a value-added way to get Canadian oil to growing world markets, but it would also protect both Canada’s land and marine environments from the effects of a heavy oil or bitumen spill,” said CEO Robert Delamar.
Pacific Future Energy will consult with Canada’s First Nations, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office and the public as it finalises plans for the refinery. The company hopes to begin construction in 2018, with startup scheduled for 2021.
Several other bitumen refining plants are planned on the British Columbia coast, including by Eagle Spirit Energy and newspaper tycoon David Black.

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

December 21, 2015

Roads that De-Ice themselves

As winter approaches, shops, cities and householders are stocking up on salt, gravel and sand in anticipation of slippery roads. However this annual ritual in colder climates might quickly grow to be pointless. Researchers report in ACS’ journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Analysis a brand new street materials that would de-ice itself.

Each winter, when climate forecasters predict snow or icy circumstances, native governments deploy vans that mud roads with salt, or different chemical mixtures to assist forestall ice build-up. Residents escape their very own provide to maintain their walkways and driveways from freezing over and turning into dangerously slick.

However the de-icer does not keep on the streets for lengthy. Melting snow and automobiles driving by wash or pressure it off, making re-application crucial. To interrupt this cycle, Seda Kizilel and colleagues needed to see if they might devise a method to ice-proof the street itself.

The researchers began with the salt potassium formate and mixed it with the polymer styrene-butadiene-styrene. They added this combination to bitumen, a serious element of asphalt.

The ensuing materials was simply as sturdy as unmodified bitumen, and it considerably delayed ice formation in lab research. The brand new composite launched de-icing salt for 2 months within the lab, however the results might final even longer when used on actual roads, the researchers observe.

In that occasion, the salt-polymer composite can be evenly embedded all through the asphalt. Thus, as automobiles and vans drive over and put on away the pavement, the salt might regularly be launched—probably for years.

Extra info: Derya Aydın et al. Gelation-Stabilized Useful Composite-Modified Bitumen for Anti-icing Functions, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Analysis (2015).

Summary
Ionic salts as anti-icing brokers have been extensively used to get rid of accumulation of ice on asphalt surfaces. Nevertheless, salt may be simply eliminated by rain or cars and requires frequent software on roads.

Apart from this financial consideration, anti-icing brokers compromise the mechanical properties of asphalt and have a adverse influence on dwelling organisms and the setting when utilized in giant quantities.

Incorporation of hydrophilic salts into bitumen, a hydrophobic asphalt binder, and managed launch of particular molecules from this hydrophobic medium can present an efficient answer for decreasing ice formation on pavements.

Bitumen has beforehand been modified by numerous polymers, together with styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) for improved power and thermomechanical properties. Nevertheless, an anti-icing perform was not thought-about in these earlier designs. In a earlier research, we developed a useful polymer composite consisting of potassium formate (HCOOK) salt pockets dissolved in a hydrophilic gel medium and dispersed in a hydrophobic SBS polymer matrix.

Right here, we developed an revolutionary technique to acquire polymer composite-modified bitumen and investigated additional the anti-icing properties of the practical bitumen. We improved incorporation of this polymer composite into bitumen and demonstrated correct distribution of the composite inside bitumen by means of morphological and rheological evaluation.

We characterised the anti-icing properties of modified bitumen surfaces and demonstrated vital will increase in freezing delay of composite-modified bitumen in comparison with base bitumen in a temperature- and humidity-controlled chamber. As well as, we characterised the discharge of HCOOK salt from polymer composite-modified bitumen and noticed salt launch inside the vary of 1.07–10.eight% (w/w) in 67 days, relying on the composite content material. The outcomes show the potential of this polymer composite-modified bitumen for anti-icing performance and for industrially related purposes.

Source- Sunnews Journal

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

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 25, 2015

Indian Bitumen Market



With the target of making over 90 percent of Indian roads bituminous, the central government has allocated more than 10 percent of its total expenditure on roads development testifying to the high priority being accorded the sector, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday.
"Over 90 percent roads in have to be bituminous. The current government has kept the development of roads at a high priority by allocating more than 10 percent of the total spending for the same," Pradhan said here inaugurating the two-day Asian Bitumen Conference being held for the first time in India.
"The current government has kept the development of roads at a high priority by allocating more than 10 percent of the total spending for the same," he said.
"I'm happy to note that bitumen products are being introduced at all the refineries in the country for the better performance of roads in India," he added.
Noting that with a road infrastructure of 3.3 million km, India has the second largest road network in the world after America, Pradhan said: "Bitumen becomes an important parameter in planning and execution of road construction projects in India."
"Owing to the diverse climatic conditions, it requires better understanding of bitumen supply and demand in the country."
According to the minister, total bitumen sales in India in 2014-2015 amounted to 4.8 million tonnes.
Experts from as many as 20 countries from Asia have come together to discuss challenges and opportunities emerging in the bitumen market in Asia, the conference organisers Asian Bitumen said.
"India's bitumen utilisation will outpace production in the coming years as demand is expected to accelerate," the organisers said in a statement.
According to the organisers, currently 90 percent of India's bitumen requirement is met by local oil companies, while the balance is imported. India also exports during the monsoon season from the east coast.
"Factors such as a shift in demand towards value added bitumen products, preference being given to cement over bitumen in road construction in countries like India, and additional usages emerging for the crude by-product have dramatically affected the outlook of the bitumen market in Asia," the statement said.
Global bitumen demand is expected to reach 122 million tonnes in 2018.

November 21, 2015

Extract Bitumen from Oil Sands and do the Transition also as it is still dirty..

U.S. President Barack Obama says it's "not contradictory" for Canada to continue extracting bitumen from Alberta's oilsands while also working as a global partner in transitioning away from fossil fuels.

"My view has been that we have to transition," Obama said during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila.

"That transition does not happen overnight."

"Both of us are large oil and gas producers and that's an important part of our economy," Obama continued.

"We make no apologies for that but I also think that we have to recognize that if we want to preserve this planet for our kids and our grandkids, then we're going to have to shift increasingly away from carbon-emitting energy sources."

U.S. President Barack Obama addressed Alberta's oil sands during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila on Nov. 19, 2015. (CBC)

Trudeau, for his part, said Canada had earned an international reputation for not taking climate change seriously and that's something he intends to change.

"We understand as a government that there is no longer a choice to be made between what's good for the environment or what's good for the economy," Trudeau said. "They go together in the 21st century."

The prime minister said one of his "first tasks" on the issue will be to "reassure Canadians and others that we are serious about meeting reduction targets, about being positive actors on the world stage in the fight against climate change, and demonstrating a future in renewables and smart investments around energy."

Low oil prices 'an opportunity'

The U.S. president also acknowledged the economic woes Alberta is currently facing and noted the reality of oil production and the move toward alternative energy sources will be "dictated by market prices."

"Right now in Alberta, a lot of the issues with respect to how to extract oil does have to do with the fact that oil prices are low and they're going to be low, I suspect, for a while," Obama said. "That actually presents both our countries an opportunity."

Now is the time for energy companies to look seriously at diversifying their business models, the president said, and for consumers to use any savings in their fuel bills to invest in things like solar panels for their homes.

"This is going to be a messy, bumpy process worldwide," Obama said.

"But I am confident that we can get it done and the fact that we now have a very strong partner in Canada to help set up some global rules around how we approach this will be extraordinarily helpful."

source -CBA News

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 ©