Showing posts with label Cutback Bitumens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cutback Bitumens. Show all posts

October 8, 2012

Cleaning Up the Bitumen Spill

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Enbridge back to the site of the largest onshore oil spill in U.S. history to clean up remaining pools of bitumen in the Kalamazoo River.Despite an unprecedented $800-million two year clean-up of one million gallons of oil (200,000 gallons more than Enbridge reported spilled), the EPA is still finding submerged bitumen contaminating a 38 mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River.

The beleaguered proponent of the controversial Northern Gateway project has ten days to respond or to submit work plans to clean up the remaining bitumen contamination.

According to the EPA submerged oil and/or oil-contaminated sediment is still generating an oil sheen on the river or whenever globules are disturbed by motor boat engines.

The rupture, which has sparked a national debate about pipeline safety, was the result of gross negligence. It actually took the company 17 hours to identify the toxic leak which poisoned several hundred people.
The National Transportation Safety Board found that Enbridge's 2010 pipeline rupture in Michigan was totally preventable. It also lambasted Enbridge for its "culture of deviance" on pipeline safety, and criticized the performance of weak regulators.

Once the pipeline ruptured the company failed to respond to the emergency with either adequate manpower or proper spill containment methods. Much of the bitumen, a heavy oil, sank to the bottom of the river while the condensate evaporated into the air making hundreds of people sick.

Instead of concentrating at the source of its spill, initial responders used booms nearly eight miles downstream. As a result more oil contaminated more wetlands and waterways, resulting in a $800 million clean-up or "five times more costly than any other accident."

At the beginning of the emergency Enbridge also used the wrong spill technology at the wrong place and at the wrong time. "It did not have adequate response on site." Nor did local responders have access to Enbridge's response plans.

Due to a series of repeated errors in the company's Edmonton-based pipeline control room the NTSB described the entire disaster an example of an "organizational accident" due to "team performance breakdown."

After the $800-million clean-up, pipeline lobbyists claimed that Enbridge had scrubbed and polished the Kalamazoo river so thoroughly that the company had left river cleaner than before the spill.
Enbridge press releases claim that the company has beefed up its pipeline integrity programs and “placed a renewed emphasis on the safety of our overall system.”

Source- The Tyee
Calgary-based journalist Andrew Nikiforuk is a regular contributor to The Tyee on energy issues.

September 28, 2012

Bitumen Cartel Fined Again by EU

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) won a 25 percent reduction in a fine for its role in a bitumen industry cartel, while other members including Total SA (FP) and Royal BAM Group NV lost their appeals at a European Union court. 

Shell’s fine was cut to 81 million euros ($104.2 million) from 108 million euros because antitrust regulators failed to show that the company “played the role of instigator and leader in the infringement,” the EU General Court ruled today.

The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust watchdog, in September 2006 fined 14 companies 266.7 million euros for fixing the price of bitumen, a petroleum byproduct used to make asphalt, over eight years on the Dutch market. Shell, whose fine was increased for being a repeat offender, received the biggest penalty. BP Plc (BP/) escaped a fine because it cooperated in the probe, the commission said.

Dutch companies Ballast Nedam (BALNE) NV, Heijmans NV (HEIJM), Koninklijke Volker Wessels Stevin NV, Royal BAM Group and Swedish company Nynas AB lost their appeals today. Only a subsidiary of Ballast Nedam had its liability for its fine reduced, while the total fine on its parent was upheld today.
Total was fined 20.25 million euros, the third highest penalty in the cartel, behind Koninklijke Volker Wessels Stevin, which was told to pay 27.4 million euros.

Today’s ruling “proved that the decision to appeal in 2006 was well founded,” Wendel Broere, a spokesman for Shell in The Hague, said by phone.

Shell ‘Regrets’

“Shell does recognize that competition law was infringed” and “regrets this,” said Broere. “Shell is committed to complying with competition laws and we have an extensive compliance program.”

Total, Europe’s third biggest oil company, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment to its press office.

The penalties were part of a crackdown on the construction industry by the commission and regulators in EU countries such as Finland and Sweden.

The commission said at the time that the Dutch cartel was led by Shell and Koninklijke Volker Wessels Stevin. It was made up of eight suppliers and six purchasers of road bitumen in the Netherlands, according to the commission.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at

Source- Businessweek

July 28, 2012

Rubber is better for Roads

Not surprisingly, rubberised asphalt is catching on. Enough tyres are recycled in America each year to produce 20,000 lane-miles (32,000 lane-kilometres) of the stuff, enough to re-pave about 0.5% of America's roads, according to Liberty Tyre Recycling, a Pittsburgh firm that handles around a third of America's recycled tyres. Rubber roads are also popular in China, Brazil, Spain and Germany. Their popularity could spread further, since it is now possible to make rubberised asphalt less expensively than the traditional sort.

That is because rubber can partially replace bitumen, the binding agent used to hold the crushed stones together in ordinary asphalt. Bitumen is derived from oil, which means its price has risen over the past decade alongside that of crude oil. Discarded tyres, by contrast, are cheap and are likely to get cheaper. In rich countries, around one tyre is thrown away per person per year. They are piling up especially quickly in Europe, where dumping them into landfills was banned in 2006.

Rubberised asphalt keeps the noise down in a couple of ways. Pores between the stones in standard asphalt must be small, because if the gaps are too big the bitumen binding cannot do its job properly. Adding rubber thickens the bitumen. That allows bigger pores, which help to trap and disperse sound waves. The rubberised bitumen itself is flexible and slightly springy, which enables it to absorb more unwanted sonic energy.

Shredded tyres are not the last word in exotic road toppings. A substance called PERS, or poro-elastic road surfacing, is being developed with a mix of private and public money in the European Union. It is made from a blend of crushed rock, rubber and polyurethane, a synthetic plastic that replaces bitumen as the binding agent and allows even bigger pores in the road surface. PERS is not cheap, costing around five times as much as rubberised asphalt. But you get what you pay for: tests suggest it can cut road noise in half. In some particularly noisy areas, reckons Luc Goubert, who is co-ordinating the PERS project at the Belgian Road Research Centre in Brussels, the resulting boost to property values—and, therefore, land taxes—could help cover the cost.

Source-  The Economist

July 26, 2012

Bitumen - Dirty Secrets

There are some things that never come up when discussing the Athabasca Tar Sands or shipping bitumen to China.

The difference between bitumen and conventional oil never comes up.  Bitumen isn't oil.   In it's processed, or upgraded, form its a sludge that has to be diluted and heated in order to pump it through pipelines.

Bitumen is diluted with a chemical soup brought to our shores in tankers and pumped via pipelines to Alberta.   Once they're combined you have a product called "dil-bit" or diluted bitumen that can then be heated and pumped at high pressure through pipelines.

Dil-bit is nasty stuff.   It contains high levels of pipeline eating acids and abrasives.  It literally scours the pipeline walls as it passes through them.  It also contains high levels of heavy metals, carcinogens and other toxins.  It's wicked stuff.

Dil-bit is necessary for just one purpose - to enable bitumen to be transported to distant refineries where it can be turned into synthetic crude oil and other petroleum products.

By now you may be asking the routinely unasked and never answered question, why dil-bit?   Why bother transporting this dangerous product to refineries thousands of miles away, placing everything between the Tar Sands and the distant refineries at unnecessary risk?   Why not simply complete the refining of bitumen in Alberta and then ship much more benign, far less hazardous synthetic crude to overseas markets?   Interesting question and the key to this whole sordid business.

Foreign customers want the raw stuff delivered to them because they have excess refining capacity.   It's actually cheaper to ship dilutent in tankers to Alberta and the mixed dil-bit back to these remote refineries than to pay to have the stuff refined, on site, in Alberta.  And because, dangerous as that might be, it greatly improves the bottom line royalties that Alberta and Ottawa get for nothing.  In other words, it's better to leave British Columbia  at enormous risk of environmental catastrophe than to do the right thing and refine the gunk in Alberta.

You see, bitumen as a petroleum source is a dodgy proposition.  It's expensive stuff to extract and process and ship.   That really narrows the profit margins.   Andrew Coyne inadvertently made the point in his latest piece where he discussed the suggestion that we "should build a pipeline to carry oil from Alberta to the eastern provinces and beyond," which he noted the powers that be admit, "the economic case isn't there."

In other words it's not economical to ship Alberta sludge east.   That's a losing proposition.   But it is economical, profitable, to send it to tankers at docks on the B.C. coast.   Yet that too is only profitable if you don't have to carry the cost of British Columbia's environmental risks on your books.

But there's another reason why Ottawa and Alberta don't want to refine their crude in Alberta. The refining process would require a great deal of energy and generate significant amounts of carbon emissions neither Ottawa nor Alberta want to carry on Alberta's already overburdened books.   So, out of sight/out of mind, just so long as British Columbia carries the risks.

Bitumen or refined, synthetic crude.   That ought to be what this battle is about.   At least synthetic crude can have the abrasives, acids, carcinogens and heavy metals refined out of it.   And synthetic crude oil, unlike bitumen, floats and so gives us a chance of containing coastal spills.   And with only refined, synthetic crude being shipped we would need just half the tanker trips, cutting the already high risks by almost half.   But Ottawa and Alberta don't want to do that.   They don't want to do the right thing.   So long as British Columbia carries the risks, why should they trouble themselves with carbon emissions, energy demands and putting their bitumen into a relatively safe form?

Source  - The Disaffected Lab

July 25, 2012

Diluted Bitumen is the same as Heavy Crude ?

Diluted bitumen (dilbit) from Alberta’s oil sands is so similar to heavy crude oils, which US pipelines have handled for years, that it is unlikely to pose corrosion problems, experts told a National Academies of Science panel on July 23. “Once processed, dilbit is simply oil,” said Peter T. Lidiak, pipelines director at the American Petroleum Institute. “It’s made of the same components in any mixture of crudes.”

Crude from Canada’s oil sands has been delivered to US refiners by pipeline since 1968, he told the committee studying pipeline transportation of dilbit at the request of the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Tariff specifications from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission limit impurities in pipeline crude, including total water and solids, which must be less than 0.5%, Lidiak said.
“Pipelines are high-value assets intended for operation over many years,” he added. “Operators have no incentive to accept shipments which could damage their systems.”

John Zhou, of Alberta Innovates Energy and Environment Solutions, part of the provincial government’s technology arm, said the group’s comparison of sour crudes and dilbits found no significant differences, although solids in both instances need to be better characterized.

“For me, dilbit is just another crude,” said Oliver Moghissi, president of NACE International in Houston and director of the materials and corrosion technology center at DNV Columbus (Ohio) Inc. “We just put back into it some of what comes from other crudes.”

Sources of problems

Problems mainly arise when water that has not been removed from a crude before it goes into a pipeline begins to separate and collects at points along the bottom of the pipe’s interior, he explained. Dissolved gases—primarily carbon dioxide—and oil extracts such as organic acids also can influence corrosion rates, Moghissi said. Running a pig through the pipeline probably is the most effective corrosion inhibiter, although chemicals also can help, he told the panel.

“For new pipelines, design, manufacturing, and construction will be more important than preventing internal corrosion in preventing releases,” Moghissi said. “It’s also important to sample under live conditions. You can’t do it in a tea cup or mayonnaise jar because the atmosphere will have changed.”

But Jeffery Gilliam, PHMSA’s engineering and research director, said the US Department of Transportation agency concentrated on internal corrosion because it’s the single most likely risk factor since it involves the interaction of a transmitted product on the pipeline’s interior.

Although concern has been expressed about possible problems from pipelines shipping crudes that may be more corrosive because they contain abrasives, lines transmitting dilbits have had only nine corrosion incidents in the last 10 years, he told the NAS committee. Naphtha normally is used as a diluting agent, although gas condensates and similar light products also work, Gilliam said.

“As a starting point, the committee might want to reference similar types of crudes,” suggested Linda Daugherty, PHMSA’s deputy associate administrator for policy and programs. “Age also is a definite factor. Many pipelines were installed 40 years ago and have sharp turns where water which has separated from dilbit would tend to collect and start corrosion.”

Operators’ strategies

Officials from two pipeline companies that ship Canadian crude to US refineries also said preventing water accumulation is the major weapon against interior corrosion. Both Canada’s National Energy and FERC in the US limit allowable sediment and water to 0.5%, according to Scott Ironside, Enbridge Inc.’s integrity programs director. The pipeline firm regularly runs pigs where its lines are susceptible to water or solids accumulation, he said. “Enbridge has never had a release caused by internal corrosion on its piggable
pipelines,” he reported.

“US refineries can handle heavy, sour crude we’re shipping from Canada because they’ve been handling it from Venezuela and California for years,” maintained Jenny Breen, who helped Alberta Innovates conduct its study before joining TransCanada Corp. as a pipe integrity corrosion specialist 6 weeks ago. Fully turbulent dilbit flow will prevent suspension of sediment and water, she said.

Bruce Dupuis, TransCanada’s liquid pipeline integrity manager, said the carrier ships multiple crude grades in 100,000 bbl minimum batches on its existing Keystone pipeline from Hardesty, Alta., to US refineries. “We sample every batch that comes into our system, and begin prerequisite testing when one doesn’t meet our specifications,” he said. “We’re also seeing the velocity products travel basically clean the line.”

But Anthony Swift, an attorney in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s international program, urged the committee to question assurances that dilbit is so similar to sour crudes that it won’t cause additional problems for pipelines. He also criticized PHMSA’s decision to emphasize corrosion, noting that poor planning and response were bigger culprits when crude oil leaked from a rupture in an Enbridge crude pipeline near Kalamazoo, Mich., in 2010.

Swift also questioned comparisons of dilbit to imported sour crudes that are partially refined at their ports of entry before entering pipelines; to California heavy crude because it travels a much shorter distance to specially configured refineries than dilbit moving through TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline would; and to Canadian synthetic crudes produced since the 1960s that were upgraded near mine mouths.
“It would be better to compare dilbit to lighter crudes which historically have been shipped on US pipelines,” he said. “The argument that this is similar to conventional crudes doesn’t bear out. There are major hydrocarbon differences.”

By Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor
Contact Nick Snow at

June 21, 2012

Solvent Extraction through Electromagnetic Heating

A group including three oil producers claims success in tests of a method for producing heavy oil with electrical heat from radio waves followed by solvent injection.

Tests at Suncor Energy’s Steepbank mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta., confirmed the ability to generate, propagate, and distribute electromagnetic heat in an oil sands formation, the group said.
The method is called Enhanced Solvent Extraction Incorporating Electromagnetic Heating (ESEIEH). It uses antenna technology developed by Harris Corp. to heat oil sands in conjunction with injection of an oil solvent to dilute and mobilize bitumen.

The group plans a field pilot next year. Members in addition to Suncor and Harris are Laricina Energy, Nexen Inc., and Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp.

Source- Oil & Gas Journal

June 15, 2012

Modular Evaporator Technology to Extract Bitumen

Aquatech Introduces SMARTMOD(TM) Modular Evaporator Technology for Oil Sands Market

Aquatech, a global leader in water purification technology for the industrial and infrastructure markets, will unveil its SMARTMOD(TM) modular evaporator technology for the Oil Sands market at the 2012 Global Petroleum Show, Booth # 7007, Halls D, E.

Modular, flexible and redeployable, SMARTMOD is the lowest CAPEX and life cycle cost evaporator system available today. It utilizes vertical tube falling film evaporator design, a proven technology for treating difficult produced water sources. Benefits of SMARTMOD over conventional evaporator systems include 10% lower power consumption. Its multiple section design ensures ASME distillate quality, and on-line washing allows for continuous distillate production at >70% of design capacity during washing.

SMARTMOD is also engineered to minimize field installation labor and costs. With its dramatically reduced center of mass and evaporator weight, the SMARTMOD module and vessels eliminate the need for building a large evaporator building or expensive foundation labor and materials. Its innovative design also reduces freight costs for transportation of the complete system to site.

"Aquatech is pleased to introduce this new evaporator design, which adds to our industry-leading portfolio of solutions for oil & gas producers and provides our clients with a unique solution to treat and reuse their produced water. We see a bright future with SMARTMOD(TM) in the Oil Sands market and believe that this technology will further expand our already successful global footprint in produced water treatment," said Alan R. Daza, Vice President of Sales & Business Development for Aquatech.

SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) is an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology for producing heavy crude oil and bitumen. It is an advanced form of steam stimulation where high pressure steam is injected into the formation, heating the bitumen in the formation, which lowers its viscosity and allows the mixture of bitumen and water from condensed steam to be pumped out.

The liquid that is pumped to the surface is a mixture of oil and water. The mixture is separated to a predominantly oil and water fractions in the de-oiling process. The water fraction (or Produced Water) is sent to the Aquatech system for treatment and reuse in the facility. In addition to the evaporator technology, Aquatech has supplied conventional systems that include Walnut Shell Filters, Warm Lime Softening, Afterfilters and Ion Exchange softening. Once purified, the produced water is used as feed to the boiler for steam generation and injected into the formation, and the cycle continues.

"Aquatech's evaporator systems like SMARTMOD are an excellent fit for the Oil Sands market. Whether it's for Produced Water or Boiler Blowdown treatment, the SMARTMOD provides high distillate purity, high continuous distillate production availability and significant reduction in field installation costs of approximately 75%," Daza noted.

For more information about SMARTMOD and Aquatech's comprehensive solutions for oil & gas, please visit


June 13, 2012

Polyolefins as Bitumen Binder

Arkema will showcase its functional polyolefin range that can serve as modifiers in bitumen binders. CECA will display its comprehensive additives portfolio for the road industry.

The European Asphalt Pavement Association (EAPA) and the European Asphalt Producers Association (Eurobitume) host this event every four years.

Arkema’s line of functional polyolefins such as Lotryl, Evatane, and Lotader will be showcased at Arkema-CECA booth for its visitors. These polyolefins can be used as modifiers in bitumen binders for enhancing its mechanical properties such as resilience elastic recovery, softening temperature, and penetrability. CECA has long-term recognition for its expertise and technical support in road construction technologies and will demonstrate a series of specialty surfactants effective as emulsifiers, process aids and adhesion promoters.

The bitumen-aggregate bond, which is resistant to extreme temperatures, results from this unique series. It is effective for constructing new roads or can be used for renovating existing ones.
The 2012 focuses on sustainable development and warm mix techniques in specific. CECA / Arkema Research & Development Center’s Juan Gonzalez will speak on the topic "Environmental aspects of warm mix asphalts produced with chemical additives" on 14 June. This joint paper is the effort of Pankas, CECA’s Danish partner and will comprise measurements of energy and emission reductions as well as lifecycle assessment.

During 2012 congress, CECA will offer a free estimate relating to the potential reduction in the energy bill for asphalt manufacturers’ mixing plant while using the CECABASE RT warm mix asphalt additive.

By Will Souter

June 7, 2012

Ghana Improves Bitumen Supply

Shell Ghana has revamped operations at its Bitumen depot in Takoradi after investing about a million dollars to address some initial challenges.

The company says aside from the increased quality of its bitumen, it has also increased its storage capacity at its depot.

Speaking to Joy Business, at the opening of the Shell Road Construction Conference, Commercial Manager for Shell Ghana and Togo, Sampson Annor-Quarshie said road construction works in the country should be enhanced by the development.

“In the recent past we had challenges with storage capacity where one of our tanks had to be emptied and repaired but that has been done. We have revamped the bitumen plant at a very high cost and at present we have three bitumen tanks ready to supply the market” he said.

“We know the Highway Authority is introducing a new grade of bitumen and currently we are using two grades of bitumen that was specified by the Ghana Highway Authority. They are bringing in a third grade. We already have a third tank so we can use that to supply the third grade when it becomes available” he concluded.

Source  - Emmanuel Agyei / Nana Agyei Essuman - Joy Business

May 31, 2012

Paver Blocks or Bitumen

MUMBAI: Flouting recommendations of its own committees seems to have become a common practice for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Despite the Standing Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) advising against the use of paver blocks on major roads (more than 30-ft wide), the BMC, in a mad rush to complete road work before the monsoon arrives, is doing just the opposite: It has been laying major roads with paver blocks instead of asphalt or cement concrete.

TOI visited three wards—S (Bhandup), N (Vikhroli) and T (Mulund)—on Wednesday and found that the STAC's recommendation on use of paver blocks is being blatantly violated.

While the STAC had made it clear that paver blocks should only be used for side strips, footpaths, traffic junctions and narrow roads, the BMC is using the blocks on roads as wide as 60 feet in the three wards. Opposite Vijayvihar society in Powai, the civic body has used paver blocks on a 65-m stretch. At Hari Om Nagar in Mulund (E), a 45-ft wide road has been relaid using paver blocks for over a kilometre.

STAC chairman M V Merani said, "We have repeatedly told the civic body not to use paver blocks on wide roads. They are only meant for side strips, footpaths and one-lane roads which are narrow. Paver blocks are to be used where bitumen and cement concrete cannot be. We had specified two designs for laying of paver blocks, but contractors do not always follow them."

Civic officials said the process of laying paver blocks is easy and less time consuming. "Many times, the civic body uses paver blocks instead of asphalt or cement concrete just to meet the deadline. There have been instances when the BMC has realized only after starting the work that asphalting or concretizing of the road would not be possible," said an assistant engineer. Additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota said, "Concretization or asphalting of roads has been stopped in some wards due to the presence of underground utilities." Interestingly, it is the responsibility of the civic roads department to get the clearances from all utilities before starting road work.

Contractors prefer using paver blocks as it is cheaper than concretizing the road.

Source- Times of India

May 30, 2012

Bitumen Export and Greenhouse Gas Regulation

During the 2008 campaign, Stephen Harper promised to ban the export of raw bitumen to countries with weaker emissions targets.
“We will not permit the export of bitumen to any country that does not have the same greenhouse gas regulations that we are imposing,” Harper said in Calgary, where he was campaigning for re-election in an Oct. 14 vote.
Mr. Harper said the federal government had the constitutional authority to enforce a ban. And the Prime Minister acknowledged that such a ban could impact exports to Asia.
Harper’s promise is likely to have no impact on bitumen exports to the United States, said Environment Minister John Baird, but could affect the construction of a major pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific coast to feed the Asian market. Questioned on whether the emission target proposal would have an impact on future bitumen exports to Asian countries, Harper replied: “Well, it could. It absolutely could.”
Nearly four years later, the Harper government is quite keen to sell this country’s oil to Asia. But for all the discussion in recent months about resource development and oil exports, Mr. Harper’s pledge has gone unmentioned. What happened to promised ban? I sent the following query to the Prime Minister’s Office.
During the 2008 campaign, the Prime Minister promised to ban the export of raw bitumen to countries with environmental standards that were more lenient than Canada’s. Does the Prime Minister still intend to fulfill that promise? And, if so, how does he square it with the government’s desire to export oil to countries like China and India?
That question was forwarded to the office of Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. Mr. Oliver’s spokeswoman sent along the following statement by way of response (emphasis mine).
“Our government is focused on jobs creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Our plan for Responsible Resource Development will help unleash enormous economic growth, by streamlining environmental assessments while maintaining the highest possible standard for protecting the environment. In the next 10 years, more than 500 projects representing over $500 billion in new investments are proposed across Canada. We currently are continuing to review this policy.”
That roughly matches what Minister Oliver’s office said more than eight months ago when Postmedia checked on the Prime Minister’s promise.
“Our 2008 platform commitment remains in effect. We continue to review on an ongoing basis,” said Julie Di Mambro, press secretary to Oliver.
At that time, a “person familiar with Prime Minister Harper’s surprise announcement” said the promise was to be “buried and never seen again.”

 by Aaron Wherry

April 30, 2012

Asphalt Recycling Facility in UK

A £2.3 MILLION asphalt plant and recycling facility could be built on the banks of the River Medina, creating 14 jobs.

Plans for the plant, together with associated ancillary facilities, have been submitted to the Isle of Wight Council by Eurovia Roadstone, which is part of Vinci Ringway, one of two companies bidding for the roads Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

If approved, the plant would be built on a former landfill site adjacent to Medina Wharf, off Arctic Road, Cowes. According to plans published today (Friday) on the Isle of Wight Council planning website, the development would include an associated cold-process recycling plant, mobile crusher, weighbridge, offices, lorry park, storage bays, workshop and access.

The proposed site falls within the parish of Northwood and councillors there are due to discuss the plans at their meeting at Northwood Primary School on Tuesday at 6.30pm. A report supporting the application states: "Throughout the period of the PFI contract, it will be necessary for the proposed development to produce and supply materials on a 24 hour a day, seven day a week basis, albeit the trading levels shall range from modest to almost insignificant depending upon what part of the contract is assessed.

"While it is necessary for the asphalt plant to have flexibility as to when it is able to supply and accept materials, it is likely that the facility shall not operate during all of the hours proposed."
According to the report, the plant itself will be carefully designed to meet recommended noise limits while complaints about dust and odour nuisance are considered "unlikely to occur" due to the measures to be put in place.

Meanwhile, aggregates will be imported to Medina Wharf on purpose-built vessels but other raw materials, such as bitumen, cement and limestone dust, will be imported via the existing ferry services using 30-tonne tankers. It is predicted the development will create an addition three vehicle movements in each direction along Arctic Road per hour.

The report concludes: "A detailed assessment of the impacts of the proposed development has been completed which shows that the development will give rise to some impacts which are not likely to cause inconvenience to any local residents."

It adds: "The proposals, will, however, provide significant benefits for the area; new employment and the generation of industry on the Island, the supply of high-quality coated road stone, the reuse of previously landfilled land, the recycling of waste and the reduction of HGV miles when compared to a facility which would be located other than at Medina Wharf."

Source- Country Press

April 23, 2012

Tar sands oil heading east? Controversial crude could make its way to New England via pipeline

David Dodge photo A Canadian tar sands oil mining operation as seen from the air.

The Keystone XL pipeline extension, which would transport an oil product known as "tar sands" to refineries on the Gulf Coast, has received a wealth of media attention this year.

However, the Keystone XL pipeline isn't the only transportation path for tar sands oil. Oil suppliers have explored a number of ways to move the controversial petroleum product to market, including pathways through the Northeast.

One of Canada's largest pipeline operators, Enbridge, Inc., developed a plan in 2008 to reverse one of its existing lines to begin moving tar sands oil east from Western Canada, where the industry is set to boom.

Enbridge's Line 9, which starts in the western part of the country, would be capable of delivering tar sands oil to Montreal if the company reversed the flow of the entire line.

Enbridge proposed doing just that four years ago with it's so-called "Trailbreaker" project.

To move the tar sands oil on the final leg of the journey from Montreal to Maine, the company proposed utilizing the existing Portland-Montreal Pipe Line.

PMPL stretches more than 200 miles, cutting through Vermont and northern New Hampshire. It currently transports crude in the other direction, from Maine to Montreal.

Enbridge officials have since scrapped the Trailbreaker project, citing a sour economy. But environmental groups in both Canada and the United States believe recent actions indicate the company is working to revive the proposal incrementally.

Recently, Enbridge filed a request with Canada's National Energy Board to reverse the flow of oil in a segment of Line 9, which connects Sarnia and Westover in Ontario.

Enbridge spokesperson Jennifer Varey said the company is making the move in order to begin transporting light crude to a facility in Westover.

Varey said Line 9's future use will be dictated by the demands of shippers, and Enbridge has not determined whether to request permission from Canadian officials to reverse the entire pipeline.

"It's one of those things where, if the market demand is there, there is the possibility that we would be bringing Canadian oil to those markets," in the Northeast, she said.

In addition to the activity around Line 9, environmental groups in Canada have been following developments near Montreal, where the operator of the Portland-Montreal Pipeline is seeking to build a new pumping station.

That pumping station would provide the necessary machinery to push oil over a range of mountains near the Vermont border, which would be an impediment if the flow of the pipeline is reversed.

However, the company has lost legal battles over its request in at least two Canadian courts — most recently from the Court of Quebec.

"The project itself of reversing the flow of the pipeline, at this time, is not moving forward because the market conditions, at this time, do not warrant that project to move forward," said Denis Boucher, a PMPL spokesperson.

However, Dylan Voorhees, director of the clean energy project at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, which was been following the issue, worries it's only a matter of time before the pipeline operators decide to renew the project.

Voorhees said the situation is concerning because moving tar sands presents a greater risk for an oil spill than moving conventional crude oil.

Tar sands is more acidic — and therefore more corrosive — than conventional crude oil, and it must be transported at hotter temperatures and faster speeds, according to Voorhees.

"I think that's one of the concerns that people in New Hampshire might have, is, 'What are the resources and special places that this pipe passes through?'" Voorhees said.

Tar sands, referred to as oil sands in Canada, are a combination of clay, sand, water and bitumen — a heavy, black, asphalt-like substance. Tar sands can be mined and processed to extract the bitumen, which is then refined into oil.

The bitumen in tar sands cannot be pumped from the ground in its natural state. Instead, tar sand deposits are mined, usually using strip mining or open pit techniques, or the oil is extracted by underground heating, according to information available from the U.S. Department of Interior.

As a result of the more energy-intensive extraction techniques, environmental groups argue the production of fuels derived from tar sands is more damaging to the environment than crude oil extraction.

California was set to become the first state in the country to implement a low-carbon fuel standard this year, which could have significant consequences for producers of tar sands products.

The standard would impose penalties on fuel suppliers who ship products with a higher "carbon intensity," like tar sands-derived gasoline, to California. Money collected through the program would support production of cleaner fuel sources.

New Hampshire is among 11 states in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic considering a similar program called the Clean Fuels Standard, which has been in development for nearly five years.

Arthur Marin is executive director of Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), the group developing the Clean Fuels Standard.

Until this year, he said, the group had been modeling its design on the California fuel standard, but recent developments in the Golden State have cast doubt on the constitutionality of the program.

Opponents challenged the program in court in December, arguing the fuel standard violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution because it attempts to impose a penalty for extraction techniques used in Canada, outside of the state's borders.

With California's program facing an uncertain future, NESCAUM is now examining alternative models for a low-carbon fuel standard, Marin said.

Marin said those involved with the project are realistic about the inevitable rise of tar sands-derived fuel production.

"We've had many discussions with representatives from Alberta, from the oil companies ... and I think everyone understands that that's a potential new source of oil that's going to be playing in the United States market," he said.

Last month, the non-partisan, nonprofit news group InsideClimate News reported that New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney and his counterparts in the other NESCAUM states were recently contacted by an oil industry group regarding the uncertainty over California's standard.

The oil industry has also taken an interest in developments in the New Hampshire Legislature. Last month, the House passed bills that would pull New Hampshire out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an air quality compact, and free it from any commitment to the low-carbon fuel standard.

HB1487, the bill barring the state from adopting the Clean Fuel Standard, passed the House on a 243-96 vote.

Rep. James Garrity, chairman of the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee, said he helped to promote HB1487 because his time in the Legislature has given him insight into the drawbacks of participating in regulatory pacts like RGGI. Garrity said opponents object to the program because it relies on a "central-planning, state-directed" approach to developing clean fuels.

"We're making the message clear to the rest of the New England states," he said. "New Hampshire's not going to go there."

One of the state's representatives in the regional fuel standard talks, Mike Fitzgerald, called the House bill "somewhat unfortunate." Environmental regulations such as the low-carbon fuel standard must be adopted broadly to be effective, he said, and New Hampshire's primary leverage in the discussions has been the fact that it might or might not participate.

The House bill does not prevent the state from helping to draft the fuel standard. But if New Hampshire declares it won't cooperate, the state will be in a weaker position to shape the regulations, which could have an impact on fuel prices.

One of New Hampshire's primary concerns in the ongoing discussions is ensuring the standard doesn't increase the price of gasoline or diesel fuel, according to Fitzgerald.

"Obviously, the state is looking at what can we do to mitigate climate change, and so there would be, potentially, some balancing of economic and environmental interests," he said, "but obviously, if there was something that was going to significantly impact the price of petroleum and diesel and gasoline, that would be a major concern." Although the prospect of tar sands piping through New Hampshire's north country remains hypothetical, Garrity said he would back initiatives to ship the product through the state, and oppose new efforts to curtail tar sands production.

"Tar sands oil is no different from oil coming from Texas or Saudi Arabia," he said. "It's all refined into the same product, so what I get at the pump is gasoline. What I get is number two fuel oil in my fuel tank. When your prevailing world view is all fossil fuels are evil, nothing but zero will satisfy."


Source - Fosters

April 19, 2012

South Africa's Bitumen Demand

New Government Funded Road Maintenance Projects in South Africa to Boost Demand for Bitumen, Says Frost & Sullivan

The bitumen market is slowly responding to supply shortages with the introduction of trial bitumen mixes on roads in South Africa. The ability to develop new bitumen and admixture technologies that support greater worker safety, enhanced environmental protection and improved road surfacing treatment opens up the market to increased innovation.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Market for Bitumen and Additives in Road Infrastructure in South Africa, finds that the market earned revenues of $270 million in 2010 and estimates this to reach $462 million in 2017.

"The future of the bitumen market is likely to be fuelled by new government funded road infrastructure projects in the short-to long-term," notes Frost & Sullivan's Chemicals, Materials and Food Research Analyst Bhavisha Jaga. "The drive to grow and sustain the bitumen industry, due to the supply shortage, will be largely influenced by health, environmental and safety concerns in the future."
High chemical fume emissions, associated with bitumen, have motivated the use of warm mix asphalt in certain regions in South Africa. Novel bitumen technology offers many advantages, including lower fuel consumption, reduced carbon emissions and increased worker safety. All these factors will work towards preventing the road construction industry from suffering from the supply shortage of bitumen in the medium-term.

High crude oil prices serve to exacerbate the limited production of bitumen by refineries in South Africa. In addition to the long waiting period to establish an asphalt plant, producers of asphalt also face daily logistical issues and this makes it difficult to improve bitumen supply to the road sector.
"In a market where there is no co-ordination between refineries to refine bitumen, it becomes difficult to measure whether there is sufficient bitumen supply to meet market demand," explains Jaga. "The asphalt market also attempts to promptly respond to market demand and it seems likely that the adoption of global bitumen technologies, such as recycled asphalt, will boost capacity for bitumen usage in the future."
The main bitumen producers in South Africa are four refineries that are highly dependent on crude oil prices.  Despite the type of dependence, there are certain operations that can be followed to make the bitumen industry more sustainable.

"It is important that refineries co-ordinate their refinery shutdown to ensure that the open refineries meet market demand for bitumen," advises Jaga. "The regulation of bitumen prices will go a long way towards ensuring that the bitumen market remains competitive and sustainable in the future."

Market for Bitumen and Additives in Road Infrastructure in South Africa is part of the Chemicals & Materials Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Southern African Mining Explosives, South Africa Automotive Refinish Chemicals, South African Thermoset Resins Market and Sub-Saharan African Market for Polyurethane. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail with your contact details to Samantha James, Corporate Communications, at
Source -

April 12, 2012

Water to Produce Petroleum

Subir Bhattacharjee — a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta and one of Canada’s top water quality experts — tells Circle of Blue about the water cycle of the tar sands. 

Suncor refinery, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada tar sands oil
Photo © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue
The Suncor refinery in Edmonton, Alberta produces 135,000 barrels per day of light oils from tar sands-based crude.
With astonishing speed, and considerable risk to water supplies and wild lands, the global energy industry is massing to significantly reduce imports and push North America higher on the list of the world’s top oil-producing regions. Canada’s tar sands — which are located beneath a Florida-sized stretch of northern Alberta — are a big reason why energy economists are convinced that such a huge change in the sources and geopolitics of oil is possible. Energy companies are converting bitumen, the asphalt-like compound embedded in the tar sands, into 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, three-quarters of which is exported to the U.S as fuel or raw synthetic petroleum.

But converting bitumen to fuel involves enormous open-pit or steam-injecting mining operations that are reshaping a forested landscape, sharply increasing pollution, and consuming huge quantities of fresh water. The toll on the environment, especially on the region’s water supply, is awakening vigorous public opposition and prompting the major companies to undertake new fields of research to reduce water contamination and consumption.

In March, J. Carl Ganter, Circle of Blue’s director, attended a high-level conference in Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, and interviewed Subir Bhattacharjee, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta. One of Canada’s top water quality experts, Bhattacharjee is developing new technology and practices to prevent tar sands development from polluting northern Alberta’s freshwater reserves.
Circle of Blue: Let’s start with What is petroleum-produced water?
Subir Bhattacharjee: When you produce petroleum you basically produce a lot of water along with it. In conventional petroleum processing, the water is essentially either re-injected back underground or you use it for another kind of an industrial use. In Alberta, we use water to produce petroleum. In some of those applications, you are injecting water underground or you are injecting steam underground. You take the oil and water back up above ground. This oil and water are mixed together. Separating the water and recycling it to recover more oil becomes a very expensive process — we work on trying to clean up this water, which we call “produced water.”
There are interesting ironies with produced water; with creating the steam and treating the water afterwards. Describe the process for me.
Subir Bhattacharjee: The enhanced oil recovery processes that we have in Alberta use water in the form of steam to inject underground. It reduces the viscosity — which is the flow-ability of the oil — and makes it more easily extractable from the underground formations. When that oil and water come out of the ground, you need to separate the oil. That’s the value stream. You convert that oil to whatever you can sell, but you take the water back. This water is contaminated with all the organic molecules and the solutes and the salt that was underground.
In mining bitumen, you do not dispose any water: you store all the water, because the policy is zero liquid discharge. That’s the reason we have about 750 million cubic meters (198 billion gallons) of tailings ponds, which is growing in Alberta. It’s a legacy that we have, because we always had a policy that there was no need to treat the water.
You need to clean it up, so it can be fed into a boiler that will make it steam. This is a very energy-intensive process, especially when you have water-treatment technologies that are conventional and require you to bring the temperature of the water down to very low values, to make it amenable to treatment by these technologies. Then you have to heat this water back to steam. That also involves a lot of energy. This a very interesting facet of the global challenge when you are producing energy: how much water you are consuming. And how much energy you have to spend to clean that water back up.
In the context of oil sands production, this is a very challenging issue. You are using a very clean-burning hydrocarbon like natural gas to produce oil. There should be some questions asked about the use of one type of fuel to produce another type of fuel. Now again, I think one of the rationales is that the fuel that we produce is a transportation fuel, and its value should be differently assessed compared to natural gas, which is not traditionally a transportation fuel.
You have a lot of great numbers to share. Give us a sense of the most important ones.
Subir Bhattacharjee: Oil sands production has two different flavors of technology that’s used. One is mining. The other is steam flooding or steam-assisted gravity. Mining uses surface water, and it is quite water intensive. The total water requirement to produce a barrel of bitumen would be approximately 17 to 19 barrels, according to most estimates. A lot of this water is held in tailings ponds and is recycled back to the process. So, what you have is the net water intake. The net freshwater intake for these plants is about 1.8 to 2.4 barrels for each barrel of bitumen produced. If you start out a new bitumen operation, a lot of water is needed. As a plant gets normalized and starts operating in its regular cycle. it uses less and less fresh water. But that number, according to most companies, is not less than 1.8 to approximately two barrels of water per barrel of bitumen.
Dr. Subir Bhattacharjee University of Alberta tar sands canada
Photo © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue
Dr. Subir Bhattacharjee in his laboratory at the University of Alberta.
The steam-assisted gravity drainage is a slightly different story. To produce a barrel of bitumen, you need a total of three barrels of water to be boiled to produce steam. The process will not make economic sense, if the steam-to-oil ratio goes anywhere above five barrels of water per barrel of oil. Given that steam oil ratio of three-to-one, with a 90 percent recycle regimen, the amount of water required inside the operations is never more than .3 to .4 barrels per barrel of bitumen — so, this is a much lower water footprint than the mining. There is also less water to dispose of.
In mining bitumen, you do not dispose any water: you store all the water, because the policy is zero liquid discharge. That’s the reason we have about 750 million cubic meters (198 billion gallons) of tailings ponds, which is growing in Alberta. It’s a legacy that we have, because we always had a policy that there was no need to treat the water.
Give me a description of our state of hydrocarbons: the belief was that we were reaching peak oil. But maybe it’s peak water that will be defined by how much water we have and how we manage our water.
Subir Bhattacharjee: That’s a very interesting point. What’s the choke point? Is it that we will not be able to drive our vehicles? Do we choke ourselves with the carbon dioxide produced by burning the fuel? Or is it that we won’t have enough water to produce the fuel in the first place? My short answer is that I don’t have a very clear idea. Globally, we have a fixed amount of total water in various geographical regions. In certain places you may have sufficient water to produce oil, but the water is coming from a very saline groundwater formation. To clean it up — to reduce the salt content to a level where it is more amenable to processing oil — is a huge energy consumer. Or you are in a water-stressed region that has enough water for producing oil, but does not have enough to grow crops: so how would you allocate that water? Would you transport it to first produce the crop and send it back to produce oil? Or can someone use water that has been contaminated by oil, treat it, and actually use it for agriculture?
These questions will be big driving issues in terms of water being the choke point, the decisive factor that will decide the price of oil. It’s not yet there, but, most likely, the price of water will dictate what the price of oil is.
You said something that’s absolutely key: the price of oil may be defined, and, in some cases probably already is, by the actual price or the cost of managing water. What’s missing is that it’s an inside conversation, not a public conversation.
Water consumption and oil production do not get that much attention, except in Alberta. The issue is twofold. The cost of production decides what technology will be able to recover a certain type of oil. Until oil went to about $US 36 a barrel, there was very little interest in Alberta’s oil sands. Recovery of a new type of oil only becomes feasible economically at a certain price point for oil.
These questions will be big driving issues in terms of water being the choke point, the decisive factor that will decide the price of oil. It’s not yet there, but, most likely, the price of water will dictate what the price of oil is.
So, if you take that argument the other way, you basically say that the cost of water and the cost of energy to produce a barrel of oil has a strong correlation with the current price of oil. So, what you are seeing is that the price of oil reflects the price of the other commodities that have been used to produce that oil. By the way, I don’t see hydrocarbon resources depleted anytime soon. We’ll find new types of hydrocarbon resources.
What’s the big story in technology? What do you expect in the next five years in water-treatment technology, with oil pulling chemicals out of the water or even treating water for municipal use and for personal use?
Subir Bhattacharjee: So much has been developed in terms of technology. Water treatment as a field is very mature, with extremely advanced technologies — we have an amazing array of technologies that can treat water. The best future for water technologies is when the proponents of these technologies can come up with a way of optimizing the use of these technologies. I hope they tailor a set of technologies, where one plus one doesn’t add up to just two, but one plus one is chosen in such a way that the benefit becomes more than two. There are quite a few ideas around that have immediate effects, in terms of reducing the cost of treatment or dramatically improving water quality with a lower energy footprint. There will be small paradigm shifts over the next decade, which relate to getting distributed water sources for people who are in different locations. [For example,] coastal communities around the world will have to start looking at saline water to get their drinking water, [since] the cost of transporting water from inland over a long distance to coastal communities is starting to make less and less sense.

Source- Circle Blue

April 10, 2012

CRMB For Georgia

New road specifications to allow for reuse of Georgia's scrap tires as asphalt PDF Print E-mail
New road specifications to allow for reuse of Georgia's scrap tires as asphalt - Bitumen EngineeringAbstract:
Georgia Department of Transportation, USA changed the road construction specifications and included rubberized asphalt / asphalt rubber as a polymer modified binder. Crumb rubber will be widely used from now in durable pavements.

Georgia state Rep. Randy Nix is pleased to announce that the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has amended the state's road construction specifications to include recycled tire rubber as an alternative to conventional oil-based polymers for road asphalt production.  Recycled tire rubber will be in widespread use as early as the 2012 paving season.  Rubberized asphalt roads save money by reducing dependence on oil and will help Georgians reduce waste by recycling millions of scrap tires annually.

"Tires are manufactured in large quantities and with great durability.  By reclaiming tire rubber for asphalt roads, we can repurpose that durability and provide a beneficial outlet for this problematic waste material," said Rep. Nix, vice chairman of the Natural Resources and Environment Committee.  "And by sourcing tire rubber from within the state, Georgia will not only experience environmental benefits but create jobs.  Oil-based polymers are brought here from other states and countries. Recycled rubber is sourced internally, so all dollars stay right here in Georgia."

The initiative to change Georgia's specs to include recycled tire rubber was the result of a promise Rep. Nix made to the Georgia House of Representatives last year. When Rep. Nix asked the House to approve legislation to renew the $1 used tire fee that supports the Solid Waste Trust Fund, he promised to find a solution for the scrap tire problem. After consulting with the House and Senate Transportation Committees and GDOT, Nix sought the expertise of Liberty Tire Recycling, Lehigh Technologies, and Blacklidge Emulsions. With new test data from the national organizations, GDOT accelerated its approval of the process and will have recycled tire rubber specs available for asphalt road jobs bid in April 2012.

"I wish to thank GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden, Chairman Jay Roberts of the House Transportation Committee, and a special thanks to Chairman Jeff Mullis of the Senate Transportation Committee, for helping me deliver on my promise," Rep. Nix said.  "In addition to addressing the scrap tire problem, Georgia will derive many benefits through this cooperative effort for years to come."

High-performance rubberized asphalt saves money by requiring less pavement thickness to withstand the same amount of traffic as conventional asphalt, as well as by replacing higher-cost oil-based polymers.  Rubberized asphalt also requires less maintenance over the life of the road.  To enhance safety, rubberized asphalt allows water to drain away from the roadway, thereby reducing splash and spray.  Rubberized asphalt also reduces the level of road noise for nearby residents by as much as 4 decibels.

"Liberty Tire Recycling and our partners are excited to work with GDOT to create longer-lasting, safer roads for Georgia residents and visitors," said Dick Gust, director of government affairs for Liberty Tire Recycling, the premier provider of tire recycling services in North America.  "Rubberized asphalt is a technology backed by decades of research and development, but it takes forward-thinking government officials like Reps. Nix and Roberts, Sen. Mullis and Commissioner Golden to bring an initiative like this to fruition."

Liberty Tire Recycling has also worked with state officials and community partners in recent years to clean up thousands of tires spread across illegal tire dumps throughout the city.  Illegal tire dumping is a major problem in Georgia, with $700,000 allocated in next year's budget just for cleanup.  If just 10 percent of Georgia's road projects were constructed with recycled tire rubber, all of the tires Georgians generate each year would be reclaimed and recycled.

Anon: State Rep. Randy Nix Praises Amendment of Road Specifications to Allow for Reuse of Georgia's Scrap Tires as Asphalt, PR Newswire, March 28, 2012.

Source- bitumenengineering

Tibet to surface it's Roads

LHASA: In a bid to ensure an easier access to its monasteries, Tibet will earmark 1.5 billion yuan (about $240 million) on road construction, the authorities said Sunday. The work is expected to be completed by 2020.

According to government statistics, Tibet has more than 1,700 registered monasteries and venues for religious activities with about 46,000 monks and nuns.

By 2015, asphalt, or bitumen roads will be extended to over 70 percent of the region's monasteries with the help of the funds, Xinhua reported citing a statement issued by Tibet's traffic transportation department.  Road access to every monastery of the region is expected to be available by 2020, the statement said.

The plateau region is known as "the roof of the world" with an average altitude of over 4,000 metres and road construction is more difficult and costly than in other parts of China.


March 27, 2012

Modified Bitumen Usage and refinement of Specification

Modified Bitumen Usage and refinement of Specification. India in Colloboration with UK.

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways is primarily responsible for development and maintenance of National Highways in the country through various executing agencies including National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). National Highway development projects are planned and designed for constructing all weather roads for specific designed life, in accordance with approved Standards, Specifications, Codes and Guidelines which are reviewed and updated from time to time for incorporating latest developments including introduction of new materials, specifications and techniques such as modified bitumen, Stone Matrix Asphalt, Recycling of Pavements, Ground Improvement techniques etc. for improving the longevity of roads.

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) have signed an Agreement on 18th January, 2011 to develop and expand co-operation in the roads and highway sector in India on the basis of mutual benefit. The aim of the Agreement is to stimulate business activities and to facilitate technical knowledge up gradation between public and private sector enterprises and professional institutions. Besides, highway engineers of the Ministry and NHAI regularly undertake collaborative training programmes in various developed countries for gaining technical knowledge for improving the technology of building roads.

This information was given by the Minister of Road Transport & Highways Dr. Tushar A. Choudhary in a written reply in Lok Sabha today


Source- Press Release

February 29, 2012

PMB in Russia

Polymer Modified Bitumen is gaining inroads in various parts of the world for construction of high traffic expressways and the fever caught Russia as well.. Pls read.

Lead experts of PU Bitumen (a TNK-BP unit) are taking part in the international specialized Polymer Asphalt Cement: Innovations in Construction exhibit. The conference is taking place on March 15-16 in Moscow with the assistance of Russia's Ministry for Transportation and Federal Road Agency (Rosavtodor).

The exhibit attendants will see PU Bitumen's innovative developments and unique materials used for road construction; in particular, the TNK Alfabit polymer asphalt cement products.
PE Bitumen actively engages in a project pursued by Rosavtodor and Ministry of Transport and Motor Roads of the Ryazan region where they test and compare different types of polymer asphalt cement for asphalt concrete mixtures. The test results will lay ground for making justified decisions on a more widespread usage of polymer asphalt cement for motor roads in Moscow and the Moscow region. The

TNK Alfabit has been used to pave experimental road sections of the Moscow ring road and Simferopolskoe highway.

The TNK Alfabit polymer asphalt cement meets the best international standards, and has been tailor-made for our country with due account for its specific climate zones. The new product is highly durable and is just as easy to use as the traditional bitumen. "To use this innovative product, road engineers need to modify neither their process equipment, nor the processes", said PU Bitumen Leader Andrey Chirkin.
Information for editors:

TNK Alfabit is an innovative product by TNK-BP. Using TNK Alfabit eliminates the issues inherent in road maintenance, prevents road cracking brought about by temperature swings, enhances the road surface and makes it more resistant to rutting. Using TNK Alfabit allows increasing the time between road surface overhauls to 6 years when roads actively used.

World practices in application of polymer-modified bitumen for road construction reveal its distinctive excellence compared to other improving agents used for asphalt concrete mixtures. The polymer asphalt cement has recently taken 10-12% of the European market of road construction bitumen. In view of the increasing traffic flow, the polymer asphalt concrete gains on popularity in Russia as well.