September 25, 2014

Fire in Bitumen Tanks

SECTIONS of the Port of Brisbane were shut down tonight after a silo exploded and burst into flames.

As many as 12 fire crews accompanied by six specialist vehicles raced out to a bitumen company on Bulk Terminals Rd just after 6pm to find a 55-tonne tank alight.

The tank containing bitumen in liquid form had overheated, causing the explosion, which is understood to have blown the roof off the silo.

Police quickly shut down Port Drive and set up a large exclusion zone.
Firefighters managed to douse the blaze by 6.45pm but continued to battle hard to cool the silo down to ensure it would not reignite.

Within a couple of hours, all emergency services crews had left the scene. Management continued the cooling down process.

No persons were injured during the explosion, although a firefighter required the attention of paramedics on standby after sustaining a hand injury while fighting the blaze.

The male firefighter was transported to the PA Hospital with a suspected fracture.

Source- Couriermail

September 24, 2014

Cement Replacing Bitumen in India

According to local reports, the Indian government has decided to use cement instead of bitumen (a popular raw material for road construction) for all new road projects throughout the country. 

The decision is in line with a proposal by Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, who pushed for the use of cement for road construction, as it is more durable and cheaper to maintain, despite being more expensive in the short-term.

Gadkari stated that, given the volume of work still pending in various states (and plans to achieve an average road-building capacity of 30 km per day in the next two years), the Union ministry would ensure that prices come down. 

According to reports, the ministry is set to revive the sluggish cement industry and restart four of the seven closed public sector plants as part of its aim to reduce prices and obtain cement at a cost of around Rs.160 – 170 per bag (compared to the proposed rate of Rs.350 per bag).

According to ministry officials, detailed reports will be carried out to assess the project cost of using cement. The projects will be evaluated on the basis of the life cycle cost of the project (including maintenance costs), rather than by using just the cost of construction. Cement will be used for all new projects, as long as the cost of construction of a concrete road is not more than 20% higher than that of a road constructed using bitumen, said the officials.


September 19, 2014

Govt Backs Bitumen Production

Government still backing bitumen refinery

Energy Minister Frank Oberle says the PC government remains committed to the Sturgeon bitumen refinery.

Photograph by: Gavin Young , Calgary Herald

The Prentice government is fully committed to an Edmonton-area bitumen refinery despite concerns over major cost overruns, says Alberta’s new energy minister.

The government revealed this summer that it will pay $26 billion in tolls to the Sturgeon refinery — formerly known as the North West Upgrader — to process bitumen it receives as royalties over the 30-year life of the project. Previously it had committed to pay $19 billion.

In an op-ed published in the Herald this week, former Tory energy minister Ted Morton said that the hefty price tag makes “it even less likely that the investment will ever break even.”
But Frank Oberle — appointed energy minister by new Premier Jim Prentice on Monday — said the project remains profitable for the government.

“We are convinced in the value of this project and in the value it creates for our industry, for the upgrading potential it has in Alberta and the job-creating potential it has,” Oberle said in an interview Wednesday,
The project also helps the province leverage the price differential between conventional oil and bitumen, he said.

During the summer Progressive Conservative leadership campaign, Prentice said there was a strong benefit from the project because it increased upgrading and the production of diesel in Alberta.
The refinery, under construction near Fort Saskatchewan, will be operated by a partnership between North West Upgrading Inc. and Canadian Natural Upgrading Ltd., a subsidiary of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

Its first phase will process 50,000 barrels per day of raw bitumen under fee-for-service processing agreements with the Alberta government and CNRL.
Alberta will provide 75 per cent of the bitumen under the government’s bitumen-royalty-in-kind (BRIK) program.

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