July 31, 2015

Bitumen: Another Bitumen Spill

Bitumen: Another Bitumen Spill: The product tanker Sunpower overflowed cargo tank with bitumen , which spilled in the Huelva Port, Spain. The spilled quantity is around 20...

Another Bitumen Spill

The product tanker Sunpower overflowed cargo tank with bitumen, which spilled in the Huelva Port, Spain. The spilled quantity is around 20 tonnes and caused water pollution in the Spanish port. 
The local authorities detained the ship and started investigation of the accident. It was estimated that crew had failed to maintain the required procedures during cargo operations, which led to the spill. 
The further investigation is on way and ship operator should pay the clean-up and other associated costs, as well as the fine for the water pollution. 
The port immediately started emergency anti-pollution measures, surrounding the leaking product tanker Sunpower with oil booms to contain the spill. The vessel will be released after the shipowner deposit the due money and fines for water pollution.
The product tanker Sunpower (IMO: 9521643) is owned and operated by the Greek company Queensway Navigation. The ship has overall length of 102.00 m, moulded beam of 16.00 m and maximum draft of 4.50 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 4,999 DWT and the gross tonnage is 3,691 GRT. 
Sunpower was built in 2008 by Zhejiang Tenglong Shipyard in Wenling, China and classified by China Classification Society.
Source -MaritimeNews

July 30, 2015

Cement to replace Bitumen ? May be Cheaper

Besieged with low capacity utilisation, cement manufacturers are prodding governments to use cement for making roads instead of the bitumen to spur demand for cement. The Cement Manufacturers Association is harping on the savings that will accrue due to the use of concrete due to the near zero maintenance costs and longer life of the roads.

Manufacturers are ready to provide cement at lower prices for bulk purchases by the road contractors. The price could vary from Rs 250 to 260 a bag compared to Rs 320-350 sold in the retail market, according to M Ravinder Reddy, director (marketing), head of marketing-Vicat India.

Typically, initial costs for a cement road are about 20 per cent higher compared to bitumen roads. In case of the concrete roads, it costs about Rs 1,400 to 1,500 per sq m and Rs 1,100 to 1,200 for bitumen roads. According to Indian Road Congress, a bitumen road has to be topped at least once every five years, implying that the road needs to be re-laid four times in a period of 20 years. However, the frequency in actual situations is higher. In the case of concrete roads, there is no maintenance and they could last for 25 to 30 years, said Ramachandra, technical head (south), Ultratech.

He said white top roads were built for about 150 km in Chennai and in Mumbai. “Typically, cement gets its strength after curing for 28 days. But by using a high grade cement, curing time could be reduced to seven days without affecting the strength,” he said.

Also, most of the bitumen, which is a petroleum byproduct, is imported and costs Rs 38,000 a tonne.

It requires about 800 to 1,000 tons cement for laying one-km-long, two-way road that is 7 m wide. “We are hoping that about 100 km are awarded. This will mean an enhanced capacity utilisation of five to eight per cent,” said Ramachandra, adding that road projects would be executed by contractors and not by cement makers, whose role should be limited to providing technical assistance. It had begun a demo project of one km in Hyderabad.

The total manufacturing capacity in South India is about 150 mt with capacity utilisation ranging from 55 to 60 per cent. Though the sector has seen slow growth, cement players were hopeful of the demand increasing on the back of government housing programmes, irrigation projects, roads and infrastructure projects, said Reddy.
By B Krishna Mohan
Source - @mydigitalfc.com

July 29, 2015

Processed Bitumen Attracts Better Price

Indonesia’s biggest construction company, state-owned Wijaya Karya (WIKA), expects to expand its market to China by selling value-added asphalt that it will soon develop. 

WIKA corporate secretary Suradi said that the company’s asphalt unit, Buton-based WIKA Bitumen, was assessing a plan to develop granular asphalt — extracted asphalt in the form of particles — for which overseas demand, particularly in China, was high. 

In addition, the properly processed asphalt product was marketed at a higher price than raw asphalt, which the company currently focused on, and was easier to pack, enabling shipment at a low cost. 

“The Chinese market has very good potential for exports. However, pricing will still be our biggest challenge as plunging commodity prices have not allowed us to find favorable prices during the discussions with our potential buyers,” Suradi told The Jakarta Post over the phone.

“This is a determining factor on whether or not WIKA Bitumen will continue with the plan,” he added. 

Suradi further emphasized that mass production would only be guaranteed if the product was well absorbed and well received with suitable pricing.

WIKA Bitumen plans to send samples to the East Asian country in a few weeks after trial production with a small amount of the new asphalt product.

To support the development of granular asphalt, WIKA recently injected Rp 10 billion (US$742,804) to WIKA Bitumen, adding to Rp 150 billion it has provided as working capital in the past few weeks. 

WIKA Bitumen made Rp 60.83 billion in revenue in 2014, down 45 percent from the previous year, and Rp 16.98 billion in net profits in 2014, down 36 percent. 

The firm’s expansion into the granular asphalt business will be important as it aims to more than double its revenue this year to Rp 150 billion from last year and its profit by around 40 percent to Rp 35 
billion, Suradi earlier said as quoted by Kontan. The target could be realized if the macro-economic situation improved along with the contribution of its new product. 

WIKA’s venture into the asphalt business began in late 2013 after the company acquired the whole stake of fellow state-owned firm Sarana Karya for Rp 50 billion, a move that helped it become a fully-integrated construction firm. It then changed the name of the acquired company into WIKA Bitumen.

WIKA proceeded to build an asphalt extracting plant following the acquisition. The facility is slated to operate at full capacity this year with annual output of 50,000 tons.

The company was previously reported to have planned a joint venture with a Chinese firm to develop an asphalt mine, which would be WIKA Bitumen’s third mine.

Suradi, however, said that the plan had yet to be realized as the company was awaiting better economic conditions.

See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/07/28/wika-expects-sell-asphalt-china.html#sthash.68zCWIM6.dpuf

July 21, 2015

New Bitumen Road @ Coimbatore

The new bitumen road, laid at the bunds of Periyakulam lake at Ukkadam in the Coimbatore City will be ready for two-wheeler users within a couple of days. The civic body with the help of city police has also decided to install a CCTV camera to monitor the place.
However the two-wheeler users will not able to use the newly laid 1.6-kilometre stretch of bitumen road starting from Karumbukkadai to Ukkadam in the early hours of morning. “The two-wheeler users cannot use the stretch between 5 am and 8 am as the lane will be allotted for morning walkers,” said K Vijayakarthikeyan, Commissioner of Coimbatore corporation. 
On Sunday, Municipal Administration and Rural Development Minister SpP Velumani and Mayor P Rajkumar along with the city Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan inspected the spot. The bitumen road has been laid at the bunds of Periyakulam to decongest the traffic at Ukkadam.
Though the civic body laid the bitumen road after removing the paver blocks at the bunds of Periyakulam soon after the two wheeler users complained that they were unable to travel on the road as the path had turned slippery, the civic body has not invested any money on the bitumen road work. “The entire cost for the project will be incurred by the contractor and  corporation money will not be spent on it.
The paver blocks dismantled from bunds of Periyakulam at Ukkadam will be used in Perur lake where we are planning to develop bunds,” said Commissioner Vijayakarthikeyan. “We are also planning to setup a CCTV camera near the lane, which will help us monitor the situation round-the-clock and prevent untoward incidents and anti social elements,” the commissioner added further.  
According to sources, the area near the bunds at Periyakulam was used by people to park tourist vans where anti-social elements allegedly gathered.

Source - Indian Express

July 20, 2015

Bitumen Emulsion - The Two Things that don't mix

Following the news that a Nexen pipeline has spilled roughly 5,000 cubic metres of emulsion, you might be wondering what emulsion is exactly.
We see emulsion in our everyday lives. Do you eat ice cream? Butter? Mayonnaise? All of those things are examples of emulsion.
To understand what emulsion is, just think of oil and water: two substances that don’t mix.
Using something called an emulsifier, you can change those properties so that the two interact better.
In the case of bitumen, in order to extract the oil out of the ground an emulsifier is used, allowing the thick molasses-like substance to flow.
Thursday’s oil spill contained about 5,000 cubic metres of bitumen emulsion over a 16,000 square-metre area. Clearly a concern to the environment, Nexen said that they are taking measures to ensure that the spillage is contained. Of the amount spilled, about 33 per cent was bitumen. The rest was condensed steam and some sand.
WATCH: Concerns over long-term ecological impacts of Nexen oil spill

Ron Bailey, Nexen’s senior vice president of Canadian operations, told reporters, “We’re also taking mitigation steps as it relates to environment and wildlife, and we are setting up protective equipment…We are deeply concerned about this. We sincerely apologize for the impact that this has caused.”
Source -Globalnews.CA

July 15, 2015

Orpic, Pörner sign deal for bitumen unit

Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) has signed a deal with Austria-based Pörner Group, a leading engineering contractor, to provide proprietary Biturox technology for a bitumen production unit planned in Sohar, according to a report.

The bitumen production unit will be a part of the multi-billion dollar Sohar Refinery Improvement Project (SRIP) and will enable Oman to produce bitumen in the sultanate for the first time, said the Oman Daily Observer.

The country has completely depended on imports from Iran and the UAE for its bitumen requirements in order to carry out projects such as asphalting of roads, and various other infrastructure related works.

Pörner Group said it will support the construction of a bitumen unit featuring a pair of reactors each with a capacity to produce 516 tonnes per day (tpd) of bitumen, it further reported.

In addition to supplying the licence and basic engineering, the group will also undertake the detailed engineering, pilot testing and commissioning of the new Biturox unit.

Additional assistance will be rendered in the form of start-up support, documentation and training, it said.
Source- Trade Arabia

July 9, 2015

Honorary Doctorate for Black Hole Mathematician and ‘Godfather’ of Bitumen

A Kiwi mathematician whose work ushered in ‘the Golden Age of Black Hole Physics’ and a Taranaki engineer whose companies are global leaders in bitumen technologies and heavy engineering are to be honoured by the University of Canterbury (UC).
The University Council will confer a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) on Professor Roy Kerr and a Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa) on John Matthews at its December graduation ceremonies. Both men are UC alumni who have gone on to major international success in their respective fields.
Professor Kerr is a mathematician best known for discovering the Kerr vacuum, an exact solution to the Einstein field equation of general relativity. His solution models the gravitational field outside an uncharged rotating massive object, and provides exact representation of untold numbers of massive black holes that populate the universe. He was awarded the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society in London in recognition of these achievements.
Professor Kerr’s career took him from Kurow, where he was born in 1934, to the University of Cambridge, Syracuse University in New York, the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the United States and the University of Texas, before a 22 year teaching career at UC.
Professor Kerr retired from his position as Professor of Mathematics at the University of Canterbury in 1993, where he had been head of the Mathematics Department for 10 years; but this was not the end of his accomplishments.
In 2008, he was appointed to the Yevgeny Lifshitz ICRANet Chair in Italy and he was a made a Companion of the Order of Merit of New Zealand in 2011. His life was the subject of the semi-biographical 2009 book Cracking the Einstein Code. In 2013, Professor Kerr was the first New Zealander to be honoured by the Albert Einstein Society in Switzerland with the Albert Einstein Medal.
Mr Matthews is Managing Director of New Plymouth-based Technix Industries Limited and director of many associated companies.
Mr Matthews has been in the bitumen industry for more than 50 years – he is referred to as the ‘Godfather’ of bitumen. After gaining a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) at UC in 1963, Mr Matthews commenced work in New Plymouth where he undertook the design and build of Russell Matthews Industries Limited (RMI) bulk bitumen terminal at Port Taranaki. By the 1990s he had designed and built the largest bulk bitumen terminal and integrated bituminous products manufacturing facilities in New Zealand, importing the first shipment of a petroleum product into New Zealand by an independent operator since the Todd organisation sold to BP in the 1960s.
With the development of bituminous products research, manufacturing, and distribution activities and the development and expansion of roading contracting companies, the Technix group of companies became the second largest in this business in New Zealand.
Mr Matthews has numerous New Zealand and world firsts – two of them associated with the development of a bulk bitumen terminal in Suva, Fiji. He became the first to transport a 400 tonne tank, the largest in the world, across an ocean by barge from New Zealand to Fiji. He also designed and installed the first floating ship-to-shore bulk bitumen transfer pipeline.
In addition to being a technology leader in bituminous products, Mr Matthews also built up Fitzroy Engineering Limited from an initial staff of seven to more than 1,000 at its peak. Although Mr Matthews has since sold the business, it continues to be the largest heavy engineering fabricator in New Zealand.
Mr Matthews worked with world-renowned, New Zealand film-maker and kinetic artist, Len Lye, during the 1970s. The association culminated in some of Len Lye’s kinetic sculptures being made at Fitzroy Engineering Ltd by Mr Matthews and then exhibited at the Govett Brewster Art Gallery in 1977. In 1980, Mr Matthews with Lye and other New Zealanders, established the Len Lye Foundation. Mr Matthews has been Chair of the Foundation since its inception and is also the prime champion of the soon-to-be-opened Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth.
Mr Matthews has been involved in many other philanthropic projects, including spearheading efforts to save the Taranaki Opera House, setting up and funding the Technix Computer Awards and being a major funder and supplier of workshop facilities to the Len Lye Foundation for more than 35 years.
Technix has had a long association with UC. It has funded many postgraduate students for Masters and PhD projects relating to both Technix and Len Lye in UC’s Mechanical Engineering Department. Four of these students will graduate alongside Mr Matthews and Professor Kerr when they are awarded their honorary doctorates at a graduation ceremony in Christchurch in December. The ceremonies will take place on 15 and 17 December.