Showing posts with label Benzene International Pte Ltd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Benzene International Pte Ltd. Show all posts

August 26, 2015

It is Puma now Bullish about Australian Bitumen Business

BP deal finalised with product to be sourced through international supply chain
Chocks away on Puma bitumen foray
Ray Taylor is bullish about Puma Bitumen.

Puma Energy’s leading position in the Australian bitumen supply chain has been nailed down with completion of its of BP business purchase.

Puma Bitumen will look to combine BP's technical products and experts with Puma's global experience, infrastructure and supply networks, the parent firm says.

The deal that surfaced earlier this year will see Puma own and operate BP's Brisbane, Townsville, Altona and Hobart sites, inheriting BP's proprietary bitumen products and 35 employees.

As part of the agreement, BP will continue to supply Puma Energy with bitumen from its Kwinana refinery until Puma's new WA fuel and bitumen terminal replaces it in 2017.

All operations will continue as normal, with the only immediate change being the rebranding of the business to Puma Bitumen.

Puma Energy Australia general manager Ray Taylor says the acquisition is a significant milestone for the company, as it expands its bitumen operations here.

"Our global capabilities in the bitumen sector gives us a unique position in the Australian market and allows us to offer customers high-quality products sourced through a secure and integrated global supply chain," Taylor says.

"This acquisition gives Puma Energy a competitive edge by taking a world-renowned, quality, technically-focused business and combining it with our already sophisticated global networks, industry-leading infrastructure and supply security promise.

"Our terminal network, soon to increase with the commissioning of our Perth terminal, complements a full-service logistics operation including the world's largest bitumen fleet, access to refined products in multiple countries and oxidisation plants in Sydney, Brisbane and [Tanjung]Langsat [in Malaysia and bought from BP last year]."

With the sale process now complete, company is focused on "welcoming the new staff and ensuring customer service was uninterrupted". 

"We are committed to a smooth transition for existing customers and will ensure they have access to the same team and the same products they have grown to trust and respect, but will also focus on adding value by bringing new capabilities and new opportunities to the table," Taylor says.

"Our immediate plans are to consolidate and then grow.

"Long-term, we will be looking to continue expanding our footprint in the bitumen market by building new fuel and bitumen terminals, investigating future capital investment into polymer products and enhancing the Bulwer facility in Brisbane."      
Puma began its bitumen operations in Australia in December 2013 with the purchase of Caltex's Sydney-based bitumen business.

Two years later the company operates in the Brisbane, Sydney, north Queensland, Western Australian and Tasmanian bitumen markets.

Source- ATN

August 15, 2015

Bitumen Scam in India - As Usual ?

R&B Minister says he is handing over the case of theft of 1000 tons of Bitumen (coal tar) to the Crime Branch. The theft was detected this summer when the government started macadamization of the flood-devastated roads.

“Compared to the last audit in the stores, we found 600 tons missing in Kashmir and nearly 400 tons in Jammu,” Altaf Bukhari said, adding that “this is not an ordinary loss.”
Bukhari said that the department concerned has been asked to initiate in-house investigations which will be followed by the case going to the police Crime Branch.

“We want to involve the police this week so that the accused are identified and punished,” Bukhari said. Stores department in Kashmir has placed services of three of its store-keepers under suspension. Action initiated by the Jammu wing was not immediately known.

Bukhari said this is not the only thing that has happened. “I have discovered that the Bitumen was purchased at a cost upward of Rs 60,000 per ton earlier while we purchased at a cost more than Rs 20,000 less,” Bukhari revealed.

Disappearance of the bitumen from the government stores was one factor for slight delay in the start of macadamization process. It was later procured both by private and public sector.

Under earlier system, the R&B department would issue Bitumen to the contractors for macadamization. Under the new system, they have to manage it on their own but ensure the macadamization is of the specifications that are mentioned in the job order.

“Once we sought a three-year guarantee from the contractors, the real issues started tumbling out,” Bukhari said, adding “now we have an answer to why the macadam was vanishing within a few months.”

He said that the process initiated by his government will ensure the roads repaired and improved do not become a mess again.

Source -

August 3, 2015

Eating Bitumen ?

Another day, another tense showdown between a motorist and a cyclist emerges online.
This time the pair clashed in Reading in the UK and the driver has most certainly come off second best by finishing the dispute face down in a gutter courtesy of a ill-considered kick to the rider’s back wheel.
A friendly discussion about UK road rules. Photo: YouTube
The face off begins when the unknown cyclist gets annoyed at what he sees as a dangerously close pass by the motorist. As any helmet-cam wearing rider would do in this day and age, he pursues the driver to express his views on the situation.
Words are exchanged.
Talks break down. Photo: YouTube
Words like: “Are you a f---ing tank?” and “Do you need to drive in the road?” and “Get a car”.
The pair go on to discuss the pros and cons of helmets, seat belts and the nuances of local road rules. The driver runs out of patience and decides to seize the camera in evidence, we presume, once the cyclist signals his plans to call the police.
Driver breaks down. Photo: YouTube
A short chase, a swift kick and a painful looking fall later, we have all the makings of yet another viral car versus bike video.
Uploaded last Thursday, more than 1.5 million people have now watched the footage.
Now, we're not saying Australians are perfect. We've had our share of tension between two wheeled and four-wheeled road users too, but tempers in Britain seem to fray a lot on this issue. Maybe it's something to do with the presence of helmet cams though?
Or perhaps it's just that Aussies take a "less talk, more action approach" as this scary video of a car clipping a cyclist shows. The angry man in the previous video, it turns out, was an Aussie ex-pat as well.
Neither locality nor nationality have anything to do with it though. Where ever humans operate vehicles, disputes are bound to happen, as are accidents. Both cyclists and motorists are more than capable of being at fault as well.
And there will always be someone prepared to take matters into their own hands.
Source - Yahoo News

July 31, 2015

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 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:

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 23, 2014

Bitumen Update from Nigeria

Nigeria loses over N300 billion annually to massive importation of bitumen into the country, the Association of Bitumen Marketers and Distribution of Nigeria (ABIMD) has said.

This amount, the union said, could be used for other meaningful projects if the government had stopped importation of the product and encouraged its local production available at the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC).

Bitumen is a by-product of petroleum used for road construction and maintenance.
At a news conference in Kaduna on Tuesday, the National Vice Chairman of the association, Fred Nyabam, described the massive importation of bitumen into the country as a serious threat to the economic development of the nation.

He raised alarm over the activities of some few individuals who he described as ‘selfish individuals’ and ‘economic saboteurs,’ who he said had truncated all efforts made in the past to stop importation of bitumen into Nigeria and encourage local production.

“The brazen act of sabotage against the Nation is that over 60 per cent of all the Bitumen imported into Nigeria comes from a refinery in IRAN, whose Bitumen production capacity is not bigger than that of Kaduna Refinery,” he stated.

He, however, called for the intervention of the Federal Government to protect Nigerian bitumen products by reducing the cost of locally produced ones and stopping the importation in order to enhance local product.

Source- Nigerian Tribune

June 20, 2013

Bitumen Market

According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research ( "Bitumen (Paving, Oxidized, Cutback and PMB) Market For Roadways, Roofing, Adhesives and Insulation-Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2012 - 2018," the global bitumen demand was 103.94 million tons in 2011 and is expected to reach 121.99 million tons in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 2.3% from 2012 to 2018. In terms of revenue, the market was valued at USD 66.70 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach USD 84.42 billion in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 3.5% from 2012 to 2018.

Growing road construction activities in fast growing regional markets of China and India are expected to drive the growth of the bitumen market in Asia. Furthermore, there is an increasing use of Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB) in road construction, water-proofing of roofs and consumer goods, as properties of PMB can be altered to suit different needs. However, extraction of bitumen from oil sands has environmental issues associated with it that could hamper the demand for bitumen.

Road construction was the largest application segment for bitumen and accounted for over 80% of the global bitumen consumption in 2011. Water-proofing of roofs was the next largest application segment, consuming over 12 million tons of bitumen in 2012. In addition, bitumen is used as an adhesive and insulating material in a variety of general industrial applications.

The report includes a detailed analysis of the bitumen market in terms of volume and revenue. In addition, the study covers demand forecast of each application in various geographies of North America, Europe, China, Asia Pacific (excluding China) and Rest of the World. The report comprises of the following segments:

Bitumen Market:Product Segment Analysis

    Paving Bitumen

    Oxidized Bitumen

    Cutback Bitumen

    Bitumen Emulsion

    Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB)


Bitumen Market: Application Analysis


    Waterproofing (Roofing)



    Others (decorative, industrial uses)

The report provides estimates and forecast on volume basis for applications (roadways and waterproofing (roofing)) based on various grades that include:

    Hard Grade

    Soft Grade

    Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB)

The report highlights bitumen consumption for every application in the following regions:

    North America



    Asia Pacific (excluding China)

    Rest of World

Read more here:

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

February 19, 2013

Turning Bitumen into Diesel

Strathcona County watched in dismay as the plans for half-a- dozen upgraders disappeared with the 2008-09 global meltdown, recalls Mayor Linda Osinchuk.

But these days, there’s some optimism that at least two of the projects are possible — reviving the mothballed Heartland, also called the B.A. upgrader, already partially built by Calgary-based Value Creation Inc.; and the North West upgrader near Redwater that will turn bitumen into diesel.

The B.A. upgrader, owned by Value Creation Inc., could be ready in 18 months to turn 85,000 barrels of bitumen into synthetic crude that any refinery in Canada could handle, Osinchuk noted.

The North West upgrader, barely started, is just five years away.

That short time frame is very attractive to oilsands producers currently facing a lack of pipeline capacity to ship the stickier bitumen that can go to only a handful of U.S. refineries on the Gulf coast.

“The fastest, soonest solution is the B.A. upgrader,” said Osinchuk. “We support pipelines, of course, but you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. The fastest, soonest solution is the B.A. upgrader.”

Osinchuk is “both frustrated and optimistic” these days. The upgrader’s future is in limbo because of a battle over expanded urban boundaries for the city of Fort McMurray, but there must be a way to find a solution, she says.

Columba Yeung, VCI founder and CEO, says the company needs access to its bitumen reserves as collateral to raise the capital to finish the upgrader. Consultations with the province are underway.

Yeung says that, having closed down the project once due to financial problems, he needs the collateral to convince investors to come back. “We don’t want to go through that again,” he says.

Osinchuk recently visited High River south of Calgary to tour VCI’s new technology project and was excited by what she saw.

Yeung, a research scientist and the engineer who built the Shell Scotford upgrader and refinery, says he has developed new technology that will partially upgrade the bitumen as it comes out of the ground under the steam-assisted gravity drainage techniques.

By removing a component called asphaltenes in the bitumen, the product comes out as a medium crude oil and can be handled by a much wider range of refineries, including those in Eastern Canada, he says.

“If we make it into medium crude, it is also a perfect replacement for Alaskan crude in California,” said Yeung, looking at new potential markets.

The bitumen bubble is caused partly by the fact only a handful of refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast can handle the bitumen, Yeung says.

It is also costly and inefficient to ship it to the Gulf coast as one-third of pipeline product is diluent, he adds.

Osinchuk says the province needs to look at all options to keep the energy industry healthy. “It’s time to move in a bit of a different directions.”

July 28, 2012

Will Bitumen Sink or Float - Spill Case Study

Kinder Morgan officials are denying that heavy oil sands bitumen – already carried by tanker through Vancouver harbour – would sink if it ever spilled in the ocean.

Grilled by Metro Vancouver politicians Thursday, company reps called it misinformation in the media that diluted bitumen sinks in water, making a marine spill cleanup virtually impossible.

"The diluted bitumen and other products don't sink," said Mike Davis, Kinder Morgan Canada's director of marine development and engineering. "They're less dense that sea water. They float."

He added any heavy crude oil could eventually sink if it "weathers" on the surface for too long, but added there's no indication that would happen if a bitumen spill was boomed and cleaned within a reasonable period of time.

Mayors at the Metro port cities committee said later they were surprised to hear the claim – and skeptical.
So was B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake when asked for comment."The prevailing view is that bitumen will sink rather than float," Lake said, but added more information might be needed.

The province's newly released technical report on heavy oil pipelines specifically lists bitumen's different properties  – and its potential to sink and complicate cleanup – as a source of higher risk.
Davis said the first trial shipments of bitumen from Alberta's oil sands via the Trans Mountain pipeline through the Lower Mainland began in the 1980s.

He estimated between 20 and 30 per cent of the 300,000 barrels per day now flowing down the pipeline is either diluted bitumen or similar types of heavy crude oil.

If federal regulators approve the company's plan to twin the 60-year-old pipeline and increase the capacity to 750,000 barrels, an estimated 300 tankers a year would go through Vancouver, up from about 70 now.
Kinder Morgan reps outlined tanker safety measures that include double hulls, segmented holds, two local pilots in command, the use of tethered tugs and a system to vet and inspect tankers for safety.

On land, Davis said staff fly the length of the pipeline in the Lower Mainland once a week and drive its length every two days in search of problems – in addition to the use of a leak detection system monitored out of Edmonton.

He also said the company wants feedback from Metro cities on what sort of legacy benefits they envision, a statement mayors saw as a prelude to cash offers to encourage their support.North Vancouver City Mayor Darrell Mussatto challenged Kinder Morgan to agree to an independent audit of spill response times on both land and water – something Davis wouldn't immediately commit to but said may be considered through the coming National Energy Board hearings.

Several mayors said they have little comfort in the emergency response capability after the incident in Burnaby in 2007, when oil gushed out of the pipeline after an excavator struck it.Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan noted the spill response agency – Western Canada Marine Response Corp.  – has just 22 full-time staff and eight part-time workers and would rely heavily on other vessels and fishermen in event of a spill.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said she's worried there could be finger pointing between Kinder Morgan and shippers as to who is responsible for a spill at or near the Burnaby terminal.Davis said booms are set up around tankers when they load, meaning any spill at the terminal would be contained. He called the 2007 spill's circumstances unique.

"They have to have a much, much more robust plan to deal with the potential eventualities," Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said later."I continue to be very concerned about emergency response plans and protocols within Burrard Inlet," said Belcarra Mayor Ralph Drew.

"I am still to be convinced that what is there is adequate for what's being transported today let alone future scaled-up shipments."Metro has not yet taken any position on the twinning project, although Vancouver, Burnaby and some other city councils have already opposed it.

  By Jeff Nagel - Surrey North Delta Leader