Showing posts with label Botswana road. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Botswana road. Show all posts

October 11, 2014

Grand Pipe Line for Bitumen Approved

The Alberta Energy Regulator has approved the $3-billion Grand Rapids oil pipeline with 26 conditions.

The pipeline is designed to ship up to 900,000 barrels of diluted bitumen per day from near Fort McMurray, Alta., to the Edmonton area.

Several of the conditions deal with the pipeline's route and others deal with enhanced environmental monitoring and mitigation to better protect wildlife and wetlands.The approval follows two weeks of hearings this summer.

The hearings were boycotted by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, which is an aboriginal group that lives in Alberta's oilsands region.The First Nation criticized the process as too rushed and skewed in favour of the oil industry.

Landowners, First Nation raise concerns

The Grand Rapids hearing was the first by the Alberta Energy Regulator since it replaced the Energy Resources Conservation Board last year and took over duties from the province's environment department.
The Grand Rapids pipeline is a 50-50 partnership between Calgary-based TransCanada and a unit of PetroChina.

The Athabasca Chipewyan has called it the "mother of all pipelines," with a capacity nearly double what the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline would ship to the B.C. coast.

The First Nation has said more high-profile projects, such as Energy East and Keystone XL, would not be able to go ahead without volumes from Grand Rapids.

TransCanada has disputed that characterization, saying Energy East and Keystone XL don't hinge on Grand Rapids being built.

Grand Rapids pipeline project

The Grand Rapids pipeline project is a 50-50 partnership between Calgary-based TransCanada and a unit of PetroChina. (TransCanada)

Source- CBC News

June 25, 2014

Greenest Refinery for Processing Bitumen & More Jobs

Despite last week's approval from the Canadian government, uncertainty still dogs Enbridge Inc.'s Northern Gateway oil sands pipeline largely because of a vow from key aboriginal communities to block it.
Others in the oil industry are trying hard to avoid the mistakes Enbridge made when it comes to approaching Canada's powerful First Nations about projects that could contaminate their lands and waterways.
Pacific Future Energy Corp.'s recent refinery proposal is the latest example.

Earlier this month, the company unveiled plans for a $10 billion refinery in British Columbia that would convert Alberta's tar sands bitumen into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel for export to Asia and other markets. Pacific Future Energy pledged to form a "full partnership" with affected First Nations, provide permanent jobs and build the "greenest refinery in the world."

Enbridge's struggle to win acceptance for the Northern Gateway project "is a lesson in terms of how not to engage with First Nations," said Jeffrey Copenace, vice president of indigenous partnership for Pacific Future Energy. "The First Nations have been viewed as an impediment to business, historically in this country, both by governments and industry, and we feel that’s wrong."

Two other companies, Kitimat Clean Ltd. and Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings, have announced bitumen refining projects and taken steps to curry favor with British Columbia's indigenous groups. They have also promised jobs and less environmental risk compared to Northern Gateway's export plan.

"They're all trying to build themselves on the backs of how bad Northern Gateway has done things, and they figure if they are a little bit better that somehow people are going to fall all over themselves," said Art Sterritt, executive director of Coastal First Nations, a coalition opposed to the Northern Gateway project. "They're all doing exactly the same thing. They're saying pick me, pick me, pick me. The reality is nobody's picking anybody."

The $7 billion Northern Gateway pipeline, which was approved by the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper on June 16, would transport diluted bitumen (dilbit) from Alberta to a proposed marine terminal on the northern coast of British Columbia. There, the dilbit would be loaded onto tankers and shipped to overseas markets.

That last part of the plan—carrying dilbit out to sea through fragile areas vital to First Nations' marine economy—became particularly controversial after an Enbridge pipeline leaked a million gallons of dilbit into a Michigan river. The 2010 incident alarmed British Columbians because emergency crews couldn't contain the spill and Enbridge has yet to fully cleanse the river of sunken globules of bitumen.

Backers of all three of the refinery projects have touted their proposals as environmentally less risky because they eliminate the need for tankers full of dilbit by converting it to fuel or light crude oil before exporting it. Pacific Future Energy would be filling export tankers with refined fuels, and those liquids would evaporate if spilled into the ocean, according to Samer Salameh, the company's executive chairman. Because of that, Salameh told Huffpost Alberta, the company's proposed refinery "is a solution to everybody's problem."
"We cannot risk the future of British Columbia’s cherished coast by shipping raw bitumen," Salameh said in Pacific Future Energy's June 10 announcement. Salameh believes it's in Canada's national interest to get Alberta's oil riches into international markets, but he said "it shouldn't be done at the sacrifice of B.C.'s coast or broader environment, and must be done in full partnership with First Nations."

Sterritt isn't convinced. Pacific Future Energy would still need to feed its coastal refinery with dilbit, which means it will eventually need a pipeline such as the Northern Gateway to deliver the heavy crude from Alberta.

"The one thing that most of these people seem to forget is that it's not just about the coast, it's also about transporting bitumen through the headwaters of the Fraser and the Mackenzie and the Skeena [rivers], and there are no guarantees of being able to avoid a spill there," Sterritt said.

Environmentalists concerned about climate change aren't likely to applaud the refinery plans, either, because they don't halt or reduce the carbon pollution that stems from extracting the tar sands oil, processing it and then burning the fuel derived from it.

"From a climate point of view, these refineries don't really make a lot of soon as more of that oil starts to get shipped [from Alberta], we have increased emissions," said Josha MacNab, director of British Columbia for the Pembina Institute, an environmental think tank based in Calgary. Switching from dilbit tankers to fuel-laden tankers isn’t a big improvement, she added, "Because any spill of any kind of fossil fuel is going to have a very damaging impact on our environment, and our ability to clean those up is questionable."

But the companies behind the refining proposals are optimistic. They believe they've found a way to boost support and quell environmental opposition to exporting Canada’s oil riches through British Columbia.
Their plans stress three factors that they say will differentiate the refinery projects from the Northern Gateway pipeline and export project. Those include:

+ A better relationship with First Nations. As Pacific Future Energy's Copenace put it, "I've heard of previous negotiations where companies go in with, 'this is your stake, and this is your percentage, these are your jobs, this is our route, and that’s how we’re going to do it—so sign here. That’s unacceptable in this day and age." Copenace has First Nations roots and served as deputy chief of staff to former Assembly of First Nations chief Shawn Atleo.

Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings, which announced a multifaceted export plan with a refinery in April 2014, is led by Calvin Helin, an author, businessman and First Nations leader in British Columbia. Partners include the B.C.-based Aquilini Group and David Tuccaro, a well-known Alberta aboriginal entrepreneur and oil sands investor.

+ More jobs. Pacific Future Energy said initial employment at its refinery would be in the hundreds, but that the payroll would grow to 3,000 jobs once it's expanded to its target capacity. Kitimat Clean’s project, which is backed by B.C. businessman and newspaper owner David Black, includes a $21 billion refinery, plus an oil pipeline, gas pipeline and tanker fleet. It said it would create 3,000 jobs at the refinery alone.
+ More palatable environmental characteristics. Pacific Future Energy said its refinery would capture carbon emissions and employ technologies to make the plant have near-zero net carbon emissions. Kitimat has touted its refinery as "engineered to be the cleanest upgrading and refining site in the world."

Eagle Spirit Energy's plan attempts to lessen the environmental threat of a dilbit spill by converting the bitumen into light crude oil before sending it to the coast for export.

Pacific Future Energy and Kitimat will still need to transport dilbit from Alberta to their respective refineries, but last year, B.C. Premier Christy Clark applauded that approach. Exporting dilbit-derived fuel would require smaller tankers filled with liquid that evaporates when spilled, a concept that "radically reduces the environmental risks associated with the shipping of oil off our coast to Asia," she said.

By Elizabeth Douglass, InsideClimate News
 Source- FirstPerspective

January 22, 2013

Shortage of Bitumen impacts Road Works

Another bitumen shortage is looming in South Africa in the first half of this year because of planned maintenance shutdowns by three oil refineries, potentially disrupting road construction and rehabilitation activities in the country. 

Also known as asphalt or tar, bitumen is a by-product of oil refining and a crucial element in the building and rehabilitation of roads. 

Philip Hechter, the chairman of the SA Bitumen Association and the chief executive of Murray & Roberts subsidiary Much Asphalt, said on Friday that a shortage of about 20 percent of the country’s bitumen requirement was expected because of the shutdowns. 

He said Sapref, Engen and Caltex refineries were expected to have shutdowns between next month and the end of May and at least one or more refinery would be out of production during this period.
“This will put pressure on the system and I guess demand will outstrip supply,” he said. 

But Hechter said imports would satisfy between 10 percent and 15 percent of demand. This meant there might still be a shortage of between 5 percent and 7 percent of demand, he said.
Despite the shortage, he said it would not the have same impact as the shortage in October 2011 when “we were caught with our pants down”. 

Much Asphalt would be importing bitumen in bulk, with the first shipment scheduled to arrive next month and another shipment planned for about a month later, if not sooner.In addition, many businesses that used bitumen had obtained containers in which to store bitumen and had built up strategic stock, Hechter said. 

“There will still be pressure on the system but it [the shortage] will be better managed.”
Still, bitumen imports had significant cost implications because they involved a R1 500 a ton premium compared with the local price, he said. 

Hechter was aware of plans to secure some bulk storage facilities for bitumen in Cape Town, Richards Bay and Mozambique. “In five to seven years, this problem will be a thing of the past,” he added.
Road construction and rehabilitation company Raubex confirmed in November that it was investing about R20 million in storage facilities to cushion it from the impact of bitumen shortages

Financial and commercial director Francois Diedrechsen said then there appeared to be a 30 percent supply shortage of bitumen in the market and the storage facilities it was building meant it could import bitumen at volumes that made it more cost effective. 

A shortage of bitumen in the local market lasting for several months from October 2011 caused chaos in the road construction and rehabilitation industry. It led to a grinding halt for many jobs done by smaller enterprises in the sector that used asphalt for driveways, parking lots and small contracting work. Some of these firms are believed to have since gone out of business because of cash flow problems caused by the bitumen shortage. 

By -  Roy Cokayne

June 8, 2008


Ministry of Works and Transport update on the Dibete-Mahalapye road.

The contract was awarded to Arab Contractors Botswana (Pty) Ltd (Foreign owned) for a sum of P170, 916,678.99 in April 12, 2005 and the Contract duration is 24 months with a completion date of 11 May 2007. Eighteen (18) calendar months (or 75% of the Contract period) have elapsed since the beginning of the project. The overall physical progress to date is 61% against the planned progress of 63%. This represents an overall status of 1.5 weeks behind schedule. The status is based on the revised program of works after the Contractor was granted 2 weeks extension of time due to abnormal rainfall.

The reasons for this delay are:
� Delayed mobilization
� Excessive rainfall from November 2005 to 31 March 2006.
� Delayed commencement of base layer works due to late arrival of jaw crusher.
� Suspension of stabilized Sub-base layer works due to over size material.
� Grading problem encountered with crushed stone base.

EOT (extension of time) to the contract without additional costs and/ or extension of time plus additional costs to be addressed by the specific provisions in the Contract Conditions for such delays. To catch uo with the schedule, the Contractor is working on two fronts and he is planning to bring in more resources.