April 22, 2010

Bitumen Grade - Scam Again in the Variation

After the fake bill scam, the Building and Roadways department of the Municipal Corporation is once again in the thick of controversy. This time, the row is over the construction of the Ferozepur Road for which the MC paid nearly Rs 22.5 lakh extra to two contractors while settling the rates of bitumen used for road metalling.

In an inquiry conducted by MC Joint Commissioner M S Jaggi following a complaint from one Kuldeep Singh Khaira from the Vigilant Citizen Forum, it was found that extra payment of Rs 22.5 lakh was made to the contractor. The complaint was filed on March 8.

A road from the Jagraon bridge till Sidhwan Canal was built at a total cost of Rs 4.48 crore. The contract was given to the DM Constructions and Kabir Constructions.

The probe report said, two grades of bitumen — 60/70 and 80/100— were used for the construction, for which the basic rate fixed at the time of awarding the contract was Rs 25,507 and Rs 23,738, respectively. According to a clause in the contract, at the time of construction, the MC would have to pay the rate difference if the market rate was higher or deduct payment if it went down.

Source-http://www.indianexpress.com/news/b&r-dept-paid-rs-22-lakh-extra-to-contractors-probe-report/609005/

April 16, 2010

China Wants More Bitumen

Ottawa says it will use its regulatory power to stop Chinese state-controlled Sinopec from exporting raw oil sands bitumen and refining it abroad to take advantage of looser climate-change rules.

Sinopec – China's largest refiner – has agreed to pay $4.65-billion (U.S.) to acquire ConocoPhillips' 9-per-cent stake in the Syncrude oil sands project. Under the Syncrude partnership agreement, the seven owners each receive a portion of production to be marketed as they see fit.

But the Harper government vowed during the 2008 election campaign that it would prevent any company from exporting raw bitumen – unprocessed oil from the oil sands – for upgrading elsewhere in order to capitalize on lower greenhouse gas emission rules. Yesterday, the government stood by that promise.

“The government is committed to implementing our campaign pledge,” said Andrew MacDougall, a spokesman in the Prime Minister's Office.

It remains unclear how the government would enforce such a policy, particularly in light of a plan by Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. to build a pipeline to the West Coast to facilitate bitumen exports to the Pacific Rim. One possibility would be to impose an export tariff on bitumen shipments to countries with weaker environmental standards.

The issue is one of several that could arise as Ottawa gets set to review Sinopec's proposed acquisition, which triggers a foreign investment review because the ConocoPhillips shares are held in a separate corporation.

Ottawa must also determine that Sinopec, a major player in China's drive for energy security, will run its Canadian operations on a commercial basis.

That includes with regard to where it exports and where it processes raw materials. It has approved acquisitions by other Chinese state-controlled companies under similar rules.

In the House of Commons yesterday, New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen accused the Harper government of flip-flopping on its election pledge.

“The Prime Minister is breaking his own fundamental promise not to export raw bitumen to countries with lower environmental standards. He is exporting raw resources and Canadian jobs,” Mr. Cullen said.

The government has responded that the Sinopec deal will be subject to Investment Canada review to ensure it is of net benefit to Canada, including a review of its state-owned status.

In the short term, Sinopec has little opportunity to sell its share of Syncrude production outside Canada or the U.S., since there is only modest pipeline capacity to the West Coast.

Analysts say Enbridge's proposal pipeline to Kitimat, B.C. would open up new markets, and serves as a major drawing card for Chinese and other prospective Asian investors in the oil sands.

While Chinese firms have a strategic interest in refining crude in their home market, current oil sands producers are increasingly opting to upgrade in the U.S. rather than Canada in the expectation of higher profits from that strategy.

New Jersey-based analyst Paul Ting said Sinopec, PetroChina and China National Offshore Oil Corp. are central players in Beijing's drive for energy security.

Al three companies have undertaken massive expansion of their refining capacity in China and are scouring the world for crude supplies to feed those plants, while also increasing imports of refined petroleum products, Mr. Ting noted.

The former senior oil analyst at UBS Securities said China is increasingly worried about security of its energy imports, which are fuelling the country's dramatic growth and improvement in living standards.

“They want to get oil any way they can, whether it is crude or [refined] product,” he said. “I think what you see in the oil sands is an extension of their strategy – they've bought a lot of reserves recently and expanded their refining capacity.”

Proponents of Chinese investment in the oil sands say Sinopec and state-controlled PetroChina now operate much like any other multinational oil company, selling their oil into whatever market provides the best return. Both companies have significant public share ownership, and trade in Hong Kong and New York.

Wenran Jiang, a China expert at University of Alberta, said Sinopec is more interested in earning a profit from the Syncrude investment than shipping the crude to China. As Asia's biggest refiner, Sinopec is particularly vulnerable to rising crude prices, and the investment in crude production allows the company to offset the squeeze on refineries by earning profits when crude prices rise.

“It won't surprise me if Chinese come in with bigger investments,” Mr. Jiang said. “The question is, how the Canadians receive them, rather than whether the Chinese will come.”

By Shawn McCarthy
Source - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/ottawa-puts-up-barrier-to-sinopec-bitumen-exports/article1534790/

April 8, 2010

Bitumen Emulsions

CATIONIC EMULSIONS

When asphalt is milled into microscopic particles and dispersed in water with a chemical emulsifier, it becomes an asphalt emulsion. The tiny droplets of asphalt remain uniformly suspended until the emulsion is used for its intended purpose. In the emulsion state, the emulsifier molecules orient themselves in and around droplets of asphalt. The chemistry of the emulsifier/asphalt/water system determines the dispersion and the stability of the suspension. When emulsions are used in the field, the water evaporates into the atmosphere, and the chemical emulsifier is retained with the asphalt.


Emulsions were first developed in the early 1900s. It was in the 1920s when emulsions came into general use in pavement applications. Their early use was in spray applications and as dust palliatives. The growth in the use of asphalt emulsions was relatively slow, limited by the type of emulsions available and a lack of knowledge as to how they should be used. Continuing development of new types and grades, coupled with improved construction equipment and practices, now gives a broad range of choices. Virtually any roadway requirement can be met with emulsions. Judicious selection and use can yield significant economic and environmental benefits.Emulsions are less hazardous to use and can be applied in a wider range of conditions.


An asphalt emulsion consists of three basic ingredients: asphalt, water, and an emulsifying agent. On some occasions, the emulsion may contain other additives, such as stabilizers, coating improvers, anti-strips, or break control agents. It is well known that water and asphalt will not mix, except under carefully controlled conditions using highly specialized equipment and chemical additives. The blending of asphalt and water is the same as an auto mechanic trying to wash grease from his hands with only water. Only with a detergent or soapy agent can grease be successfully removed. The soap particles surround the globules of grease, break the surface tension that holds them, and allow them to be washed away.


Anionic, non-ionic and cationic emulsifiers are all available, which will successfully emulsify bitumen and provide storage stable emulsions. Cationic emulsifiers offer additional advantages, which arise from the fact that most naturally occurring aggregates are negatively-charged in aqueous media, and have a capacity to absorb cationic emulsifiers. Choice of emulsifier type, and emulsion formulation enables the rate of breaking of the emulsion to be controlled. The emulsifiers remain in the cured seal and are concentrated at the interface between bitumen and aggregate and act as antis tripping agents.

This is a test Post from multiply.com


Bitumen Emulsions

CATIONIC EMULSIONS

When asphalt is milled into microscopic particles and dispersed in water with a chemical emulsifier, it becomes an asphalt emulsion. The tiny droplets of asphalt remain uniformly suspended until the emulsion is used for its intended purpose. In the emulsion state, the emulsifier molecules orient themselves in and around droplets of asphalt. The chemistry of the emulsifier/asphalt/water system determines the dispersion and the stability of the suspension. When emulsions are used in the field, the water evaporates into the atmosphere, and the chemical emulsifier is retained with the asphalt.


Emulsions were first developed in the early 1900s. It was in the 1920s when emulsions came into general use in pavement applications. Their early use was in spray applications and as dust palliatives. The growth in the use of asphalt emulsions was relatively slow, limited by the type of emulsions available and a lack of knowledge as to how they should be used. Continuing development of new types and grades, coupled with improved construction equipment and practices, now gives a broad range of choices. Virtually any roadway requirement can be met with emulsions. Judicious selection and use can yield significant economic and environmental benefits.Emulsions are less hazardous to use and can be applied in a wider range of conditions.


An asphalt emulsion consists of three basic ingredients: asphalt, water, and an emulsifying agent. On some occasions, the emulsion may contain other additives, such as stabilizers, coating improvers, anti-strips, or break control agents. It is well known that water and asphalt will not mix, except under carefully controlled conditions using highly specialized equipment and chemical additives. The blending of asphalt and water is the same as an auto mechanic trying to wash grease from his hands with only water. Only with a detergent or soapy agent can grease be successfully removed. The soap particles surround the globules of grease, break the surface tension that holds them, and allow them to be washed away.


Anionic, non-ionic and cationic emulsifiers are all available, which will successfully emulsify bitumen and provide storage stable emulsions. Cationic emulsifiers offer additional advantages, which arise from the fact that most naturally occurring aggregates are negatively-charged in aqueous media, and have a capacity to absorb cationic emulsifiers. Choice of emulsifier type, and emulsion formulation enables the rate of breaking of the emulsion to be controlled. The emulsifiers remain in the cured seal and are concentrated at the interface between bitumen and aggregate and act as antis tripping agents.

This is a test Post from multiply.com


April 5, 2010

Russian Demand for Bitumen Slides

TNK-BP plans increasing by 20% its domestic sales of bitumen in 2010, in accordance with the company’s strategy of reaching the end consumer and following the road building sector recovery forecasts.

Road builders and the construction industry are the main consumers of bitumen of TNK-BP. The shipments are executed by a network of official distributors in more than thirty regions of Russia.

“Our strategy targets the needs of the end consumer. Due to the use of specially equipped trucks TNK-BP can guarantee that the quality of the product is preserved during the whole delivery process from the refinery to the end consumer”, Eldar Verdiev, Bitumen Performance Unit Leader, said.

TNK-BP developed and introduced custom—made standards of health, safety and environment for trucks used by its distributors compliant with quality preservation requirements. This allows road transportations of bitumen to distances exceeding 1000km with minimal temperature losses.


In 2009, TNK-BP became the biggest seller of bitumen in Russia despite reduced demand in the road building sector and despite a general slide by 30% in the bitumen production industry. In 2009, the volume of bitumen sales of TNK-BP amounted to 824,000 tons, decreasing by 24% as compared to 2008 and representing 28% of the total domestic sales of bitumen. In 2009 we started to manufacture a new bitumen product BV 50/70 compliant with European quality standards and launched a new bitumen loading rack at the Yaroslavl refinery (owned on parity basis by TNK-BP and Gazprom neft).

TNK-BP owns modern bitumen trucks designed to meet all international safety requirements and quality preservation standards. As of 2009, the number of bitumen trucks of TNK-BP amounted to 230, of which 90 vehicles are owned by the company’s official distributors.

TNK-BP is Russia’s third largest oil company, 50% owned by BP and 50% owned by the AAR Consortium (Alfa Group, Access Industries and Renova). TNK-BP also owns close to 50% of another Russian oil and gas company, Slavneft. TNK-BP accounts for approximately 16% of Russia’s production (including its share of Slavneft). SEC proved reserves (life of field basis) were 8.586 billion boe as of December 31, 2009.

Source- http://www.tnk-bp.com/press/news/2010/4/2043/

April 1, 2010

Plastic Roads in Hyderabad

Plastic roads have made a foray in the city, with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) laying out a plastic-bitumen stretch at NGO’s Colony in the BN Reddy Nagar locality of LB Nagar.


On an experimental basis, the GHMC went in for more stretches, costing about Rs 20 lakh, with the help of the Bangalore-based KK Plastic Waste Management Ltd (KKPWM) a few days ago.

The company has developed patented technology that turns plastic waste into a polyblend that can be used in roadlaying. The Indian Road Congress (IRC) and the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) have validated the technology.

Similar plastic-bitumen roads will be laid shortly near the camp office of the Chief Minister, at Begumpet and the Necklace Road-NTR Marg stretch.

More such roads are in the offing as they are water-resistant and, unlike BT roads, do not bleed during summer.

Whereas BT roads are susceptible to extensive monsoon damage, plastic roads have proved resilient, GHMC officials told Express.

Not only have such roads in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai withstood the vagaries of weather, they do not have the slightest pitting.

Plastic, they further said, reduces environmental pollution besides doubling road durability. It also enhances the binding capacity of bitumen which enables the roads to bear higher loads, thereby decreasing fatigue and enhancing road life.

For every kilometre of road, around two tonnes of plastic is required. The cost of the road thus increases marginally but is compensated by the durability and eco-friendly attributes.

The process starts with the shredding of waste plastic which is then mixed with hot bitumen and other additives to form aggregates.

The final step involves carpeting, as in the case of usual roads. Since the plastic is only shredded, and not burnt, the process eliminates chances of release of toxic gases into the atmosphere

Source
http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=GHMC+rolls+out+plastic+road+experiment&artid=cRr13baRaN8=&SectionID=e7uPP4%7CpSiw=&MainSectionID=e7uPP4%7CpSiw=&SEO=GHMC,+BN+Reddy+Nagar,+KKPWM,+CRRI,+Delhi,+Mumbai,&SectionName=EH8HilNJ2uYAot5nzqumeA==