Showing posts with label PMB. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PMB. Show all posts

February 3, 2016

Kuwait's Road Project


Mushrif Trading and Contracting Company (MTCC), a leading civil construction firm, said it has been awarded a KD14 million ($46 million) contract for road works aimed at improving traffic flow at Al Bidda Roundabout in the Kuwait City.

The MTCC contract signed by Ministry of Public Works is one of several projects in its pipeline to upgrade and improve the country's road network. It is expected to be completed in the next two years.

Located on the city's eastern coastline where Al Blajat Street meets Al Ta'awon Street and the Fifth Ring Road, Al Bidda Roundabout is a busy junction that often suffers from a slowdown in the flow of traffic.

Given existent construction in the area surrounding Al Bidda Roundabout, no changes will be made to its current size and shape, said a statement from the contractor.

As per the deal, Mushrif 's role will be to construct a grade separated interchange at a north-south axis along the coastal roads, said a senior official.

"Mushrif has been a long-standing partner to the Ministry of Public Works on several projects over the last four decades and has delivered over 20 road projects since," remarked its chief executive Chris Preece.

"We are proud to be an integral part of Kuwait's ongoing development efforts and it's not only about improving traffic conditions, but playing a lead role in 'building' Kuwait," he stated.

According to Preeece, this is the second road contract to be awarded to Mushrif within the last four months.

"We had outbid nine major international and local contractors with an offer at KD82.8 million ($272 million) for ministry tender for a 40-km road serving new developments in the cities of Sabah Al Ahmad and Mina Abdulla including the Mina Abdulla industrial area, and allow for safe access to and from Al Wafra," he added.

In addition to protecting and relocating utilities in the area, Mushrif will be managing traffic during the construction phase to keep the busy Al Bidda Roundabout operational as per Ministry of Interior (MoI) requirements, revealed Preece.

It will also work closely with MoI to install ducting, cabling and CCTV masts for future traffic surveillance and management, while relocating existing security cameras, he added.-

Source - TradeArabia News Service

January 16, 2016

Green Bitumen from Canada

PACIFIC FUTURE ENERGY, which is planning to build the world’s “greenest bitumen-to-fuels refinery” in Canada has announced plans to transport bitumen to the refinery by rail in a near-solid “neatbit” state.
The company initially announced that it would build the C$15bn (US$10bn) refinery on the British Columbian coast back in 2014, and would export refined products, rather than raw bitumen, to Asia. It has now submitted a full formal project description, produced by SNC Lavalin, to Canadian regulators. The refinery will refine bitumen from oilsands in western Canada.
Bitumen is usually transported by pipeline as “dilbit”, a diluted, more fluid version containing about 70% bitumen and 30% diluent, or by rail as “railbit”, which contains around 88% bitumen. Pacific Future Energy, however, believes that transporting neatbit, which is as the name suggests, 100% bitumen, is more environmentally sound. 
The company describes neatbit as having “a consistency similar to peanut butter”, which does not flow unless heated. It has very low flammability, is stable, and is classified as non-dangerous for transport. In the rare chance of a train derailment or a crash, the bitumen could not flow anywhere and would be much easier to clean up, minimising environmental damage. 
First Nations groups and environmentalists alike have criticised plans for pipelines through pristine landscapes. In addition, Pacific Future Energy has pledged to use TC-117 railcars, a new model specifically designed for oil transport.
Pacific Future Energy has selected an area known as the Dubose Flats in which to build the 200,000 bbl/d refinery. The refinery will be powered by wood waste biomass, from the local forestry industry, and the company claims its net carbon emissions will be near zero. 
Exporting refined products will pose less of a risk than raw bitumen to the marine environment in the case of a spill. The refinery is expected to create 3,500 jobs during construction and 1,000 during operation.
“Not only would our proposal provide a value-added way to get Canadian oil to growing world markets, but it would also protect both Canada’s land and marine environments from the effects of a heavy oil or bitumen spill,” said CEO Robert Delamar.
Pacific Future Energy will consult with Canada’s First Nations, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office and the public as it finalises plans for the refinery. The company hopes to begin construction in 2018, with startup scheduled for 2021.
Several other bitumen refining plants are planned on the British Columbia coast, including by Eagle Spirit Energy and newspaper tycoon David Black.

January 4, 2016

New Asphalt & Emulsion Terminal

Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc., (Ergon A&E) announced today it has been approved to move forward with construction on a new asphalt terminal in Manor, TX. Construction on the facility, which will span some 27 acres, is set to begin in early 2016 with an anticipated completion preceding the 2017 road construction and paving season.

The Manor terminal will house neat and polymer modified asphalt products used in paving and asphalt emulsion production. The facility’s bulk storage will provide the capabilities to support Ergon A&E’s Texas emulsion plants, in addition to marketing paving and sealing-grade hot products.

The new terminal will be located approximately 15 miles from the Austin city center with prime access to nearby interstate thoroughfares for direct customer sales. The terminal will be served by both inbound rail and truck receipt capabilities.

Upon completion of the new Manor terminal, the facility will bring between 10-15 new jobs to the area including positions in operations, sales & marketing, management and facility maintenance.

About Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc.

Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc., is an Ergon company, and the premier asphalt and emulsions marketer in North America. Its manufacturing network encompasses more than 30 asphalt and emulsions facilities located from Coast-to-Coast. The company is an industry-recognized leader for road maintenance education and innovation with quality neat and polymer modified asphalt products and emulsions, in addition to a family of cost-effective pavement preservation solutions engineered to maintain the integrity of transportation networks.

About Ergon, Inc.

Ergon, Inc. is a privately held company based in Jackson, MS, that operates under six primary business segments: Refining & Marketing, Asphalt & Emulsions, Transportation & Terminaling, Oil & Gas, Real Estate, and Corporate & Other.

Source - Businesswire

December 21, 2015

Roads that De-Ice themselves

As winter approaches, shops, cities and householders are stocking up on salt, gravel and sand in anticipation of slippery roads. However this annual ritual in colder climates might quickly grow to be pointless. Researchers report in ACS’ journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Analysis a brand new street materials that would de-ice itself.

Each winter, when climate forecasters predict snow or icy circumstances, native governments deploy vans that mud roads with salt, or different chemical mixtures to assist forestall ice build-up. Residents escape their very own provide to maintain their walkways and driveways from freezing over and turning into dangerously slick.

However the de-icer does not keep on the streets for lengthy. Melting snow and automobiles driving by wash or pressure it off, making re-application crucial. To interrupt this cycle, Seda Kizilel and colleagues needed to see if they might devise a method to ice-proof the street itself.

The researchers began with the salt potassium formate and mixed it with the polymer styrene-butadiene-styrene. They added this combination to bitumen, a serious element of asphalt.

The ensuing materials was simply as sturdy as unmodified bitumen, and it considerably delayed ice formation in lab research. The brand new composite launched de-icing salt for 2 months within the lab, however the results might final even longer when used on actual roads, the researchers observe.

In that occasion, the salt-polymer composite can be evenly embedded all through the asphalt. Thus, as automobiles and vans drive over and put on away the pavement, the salt might regularly be launched—probably for years.

Extra info: Derya Aydın et al. Gelation-Stabilized Useful Composite-Modified Bitumen for Anti-icing Functions, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Analysis (2015).

Summary
Ionic salts as anti-icing brokers have been extensively used to get rid of accumulation of ice on asphalt surfaces. Nevertheless, salt may be simply eliminated by rain or cars and requires frequent software on roads.

Apart from this financial consideration, anti-icing brokers compromise the mechanical properties of asphalt and have a adverse influence on dwelling organisms and the setting when utilized in giant quantities.

Incorporation of hydrophilic salts into bitumen, a hydrophobic asphalt binder, and managed launch of particular molecules from this hydrophobic medium can present an efficient answer for decreasing ice formation on pavements.

Bitumen has beforehand been modified by numerous polymers, together with styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) for improved power and thermomechanical properties. Nevertheless, an anti-icing perform was not thought-about in these earlier designs. In a earlier research, we developed a useful polymer composite consisting of potassium formate (HCOOK) salt pockets dissolved in a hydrophilic gel medium and dispersed in a hydrophobic SBS polymer matrix.

Right here, we developed an revolutionary technique to acquire polymer composite-modified bitumen and investigated additional the anti-icing properties of the practical bitumen. We improved incorporation of this polymer composite into bitumen and demonstrated correct distribution of the composite inside bitumen by means of morphological and rheological evaluation.

We characterised the anti-icing properties of modified bitumen surfaces and demonstrated vital will increase in freezing delay of composite-modified bitumen in comparison with base bitumen in a temperature- and humidity-controlled chamber. As well as, we characterised the discharge of HCOOK salt from polymer composite-modified bitumen and noticed salt launch inside the vary of 1.07–10.eight% (w/w) in 67 days, relying on the composite content material. The outcomes show the potential of this polymer composite-modified bitumen for anti-icing performance and for industrially related purposes.

Source- Sunnews Journal

December 15, 2015

Heavy Crude Spill Study

Refugio Rupture Informs Heavy Crude Spill Study
Environmental Consequence of Diluted Bitumen Spills Analyzed

A new study states that diluted bitumen, a raw material used as a feedstock in oil refineries, turns into a “heavy, viscous, particle-laden residue” after days of exposure, say, in ocean water after an incident like the Refugio Oil Spill.

That’s not unlike the type of oil found on the beach and in the water by the people who attempted to restore the shore this past May.

The heavy crude that befouled Refugio may not literally be diluted bitumen, explained UCSB geochemist David Valentine, but it has characteristics that are more like diluted bitumen than the lighter oils to which current spill response is tailored.

For instance, heavy crude tends to sink instead of float on the surface, and it is very sticky. Valentine is among the authors of the paper and also a scientist researching the aftermath of Refugio, which gave a first-hand case study of spill response.

The environmental risks of crude oil transport have been recognized since Santa Barbara’s blowout in 1969, the study says, and the 2010 bitumen spill into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, among others, caused the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ask scientists if the potential environmental consequences of a bitumen spill were significantly different from a spill of “light” or “medium” crude.

Often extracted from tar sands, bitumen is too viscous to flow readily through pipelines, and oil producers commonly dilute it with lighter oils or condensed natural gas for pipeline transport. The study, titled “Spills of Diluted Bitumen from Pipelines:

A Comparative Study of Environmental Fate, Effects, and Response,” explains that “weathering” causes rapid physical and chemical changes to diluted bitumen after a spill, making it stickier and more dense than water.

The heavy crude from Canadian tar sands is commonly diluted, and the study lays out the Keystone pipeline proposal to move crude from Canada and other existing and proposed pipelines around the nation. (Though the study states the majority of California’s crude is moved through heated pipes, in Santa Barbara County, the main transport pipelines are insulated, not heated, and carry oil that has been heated and blended with natural gas liquids, according to the county’s Energy Division.)

The report, prepared for the DOT and published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, also states its findings translate to transport such as truck and rail.

“Although many differences between diluted bitumen and other crude oils are well established, some remaining areas of uncertainty hamper effective responses to spills,” said Valentine, a professor of microbial geochemistry in the Department of Earth Science, in a UCSB press release.

“Further research is needed in a range of areas, including the ecological and human health risks posed by weathered diluted bitumen, techniques to capture submerged oil in moving water, and the application of advanced chemical approaches to understand the compositional changes to diluted bitumen in the environment.”

Given the new information about diluted bitumen, the report makes recommendations that the Coast Guard reclassify the substance as a nonfloating oil and that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) create a database to predict possible locations of future bitumen spills.

It further advises the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is a branch of the DOT, to modify transport rules to recognize the special hazards presented by diluted bitumen.

Source- The Independent

November 27, 2015

Bitumen mixing Plant - On the limits

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan visiting a bitumin-mixing plant atKumbanad-Kadapra, near Kozhencherry, on Thursday


Photo: Leju Kamal

Residents of Kumbanad-Kadapra allege that the plant is causing breathing problems for people

The problems faced by the common man due to a bitumen-mixing plant located in a thickly populated area adjoining a Scheduled Caste colony at Kumbanad-Kadapra, near Kozhenchery, will be raised in the Assembly, Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has said.

Mr. Achuthanandan, accompanied by Village Action Council workers, was talking to reporters after visiting the plant on Thursday.

The Village Action Council has been waging an agitation demanding the shifting of the plant from the thickly populated area for the past three years.

Mr. Achuthanandan said the controversial plant should be relocated to an uninhibited area, if the custodians failed to operate it without causing problems to the villagers.

He first visited the Chellathuparambil colony and interacted with the affected families there.

Panchayat ward member Jessie Sajan said the villagers had been put to much difficulty due to the noxious fumes emitted from the plant.

She said one person was killed due to asphyxia caused by the fumes from the bitumen-mixing plant in March and many others were hospitalised.

Though the villagers under the aegis of the action council staged satyagraha before the Koipram panchayat office for 48 days, the local body had given clearance to the plant, disregarding their protests, Ms. Sajan said.

Ms. Sajan has been elected as an Independent member representing the action council in the just-concluded local body elections, defeating both the UDF and the LDF candidates.

Ammini Mathew, Winnie Mathews, and Sanoop Rajan, villagers, told Mr. Achuthanandan that the plant had been causing breathing difficulties and allergy problems to the people in the locality.

Steps sought

Mr. Achuthanandan also interacted with the owner of the plant, Prasad, and asked him to take immediate steps to address the problems faced by the local residents.

K. Ananthagopan, CPI(M) State committee member; R. Sanalkumar, district secretariat member; and Joseph Mathews, IT advisor to the Opposition Leader; were also present.

Source- The Hindu

November 20, 2015

Bitumen Storage Tanks

http://www.benzeneinternational.com
The Matola terminals Global mid- and downstream energy company Puma Energy officially opened new bitumen and fuel terminals in Mozambique this week, raising its capacity in the Southern African country to 275 500 m³.

The Matola terminals comprise 11 steel storage tanks, which have collectively added 115 000 m³ of storage capacity. The bitumen terminal has been designed to reduce Mozambique’s dependence on imports, while the fuel terminal creates a new fuel-supply channel for the Southern African Development Community.

COO Christophe Zyde described the Mozambican storage facilities as “state-of-the-art” and said the infrastructure would act as a catalyst for economic growth in the country.

Puma Energy, which is associated with the Trafigura Group, is active in over 45 countries globally and recently set up a regional hub in Johannesburg, South Africa, where it is also in the process of building storage capacity.

Source - http://www.miningweekly.com/article/puma-energy-opens-new-bitumen-fuel-storage-capacity-in-mozambique-2015-11-19

BY: TERENCE CREAMER CREAMER MEDIA EDITOR ©

Cheaper Crude Kills Bitumen Blend with high carbon


CHINA TEAPOT REFINERIES: SHANDONG TEAPOT REFINERS TO RAMP UP CRUDE IMPORTS BEFORE YEAR-END

Some independent teapot refiners in China's eastern Shandong province will be ramping up crude oil imports over the next month in a bid to utilize their import quotas before the end of the year, trade sources said this week.

This is despite a slowdown in domestic gasoline and gasoil sales, which dampened teapot refiners' demand for imported crude, petroleum bitumen blend and straight-run fuel oil over this week, as they continue to grapple with rising oil product stocks, according to sources.

No new crude cargoes have arrived at Shandong ports this week, after a string of deliveries last week.

But given a few refineries have only utilized just a small portion of their annual import quotas, the Shandong provincial government has required Lihuayi Petrochemical -- better known as Lijin -- Yatong Petrochemical and Kenli Petrochemical, to import a total 880,000 mt of crude before the end of this year.

Lijin will need to import 200,000 mt next month in order to meet its target.

The refiner, which has a crude import quota of 3.5 million mt/year, received two cargoes totaling 200,000 mt last week and will be returning from an ongoing full turnaround at the end of November.

Yatong will need to import around 600,000 mt of crude before the end of the year.

The refiner last week has received one 50,000-mt cargo of Russian Sokol crude, after taking delivery of its first import cargo of 60,000 mt in October. Yatong has a crude import quota of 2.76 million mt/year.

Kenli Petrochemical will have to import 80,000 mt of crude by the end of this year, according to sources.

The refiner, which has a quota of 2.52 million mt/year, has so far received a total of about 200,000 mt of Russian ESPO blend crude.

Meanwhile, some Omani crude, as well as Brazilian grades, were offered into the spot market on a FOB Qingdao basis, sources said.

With teapot refiners importing crude, the supply of imported crude in the Shandong market has also become abundant.

Some of the teapot refiners unable to fully use up their import crude supply in their own systems were said to be selling part of their cargoes to other teapot refiners which have not been granted import quotas yet.

Shandong's teapot refineries are able to crack crude and fuel oil, but they have been using less imported fuel oil since November 2014 because of relatively high procurement costs.

After the government granted teapot refineries access to imported crude oil, crude has been the top feedstock choice, while bitumen blend is still considered favorable for those that have no access to both domestic and imported crude.

NO NEW BITUMEN BLEND CARGOES THIS WEEK

Imports of petroleum bitumen blend by Shandong teapot refineries have been slow in recent weeks, mainly due to uncertainties over tax issues.

There was talk in the market that the government may levy a consumption tax on bitumen blend, as it has a similar quality to fuel oil. And should this happen, there will probably be fewer buyers for bitumen blend, which is used as feedstock for coking units.

Since the government typically reviews and revises all import and export items at the end of the year, trade sources said they would rather wait for a clear directive before resuming imports.

No new bitumen blend cargoes have arrived for Shandong teapot refineries this week.

Yuhuang Petrochemical and Hengyuan Petrochemical early this month have each taken delivery of a 100,000-mt cargo of bitumen blend at Rizhao and Tianjin. Another two similar cargoes are scheduled to arrive late this month, sources said.

This compares with an estimate 530,000 mt of bitumen blend imports, in five cargoes, into Shandong ports in October, which was lower than September's imports of 1.1 million mt in 12 cargoes.

The steep fall in bitumen blend imports was attributed to more teapot refineries being allowed to import crude, freeing up domestic crude supply to other refiners and displacing the share of bitumen blend in refiners' feedstock mix as a result.

Premiums of November-delivery common grade bitumen blend cargoes were heard at around $20-$25/mt to the Mean of Platts Singapore 380 CST high sulfur fuel oil assessments on a CFR basis.

Common grade bitumen blend has a density of 0.98-0.99 kg/l, sulfur content of 2%-3% and carbon residue of 12%-14%.

Teapot refineries in Shandong -- China's main buyers of imported straight-run fuel oil before November 2014 -- have largely switched to comparatively cheaper bitumen blend that does not incur consumption tax and import tariffs.

ONE RUSSIAN M100 FUEL OIL CARGO ARRIVED FOR TEAPOT

On Russian M100 fuel oil, one 30,000-mt cargo is due to arrive Friday at Rizhao port in Shandong.

The cargo will be taken by Xinhai Petrochemical in Jiangsu province, a subsidiary of Shandong's biggest teapot refiner Dongming Petrochemical. Western trader Mercuria was said to have moved M100 fuel oil cargoes into Shandong this month, though details on the number of cargoes and buyers were not known.

M100 fuel oil cargoes for delivery in early December were heard talked at premiums of around $45/mt to MOPS 180 CST fuel oil assessments on a CFR basis, stable from those delivered in early November.

Meanwhile, despite current thin demand for M100 fuel oil from teapot refineries and petrochemical plants, some Chinese companies are now expected likely to participate in Russian state-owned Rosneft's term tender for 2016.

The tender, offering up to 3.5 million mt of M100 fuel oil for loading over January to December 2016 from Nakhodka or Slavyanka, closes on November 19, and bids will remain valid until December 11.

Rosneft currently has a term contract of up to 2.8 million mt of M100 for loading over January-December 2015 from Nakhodka or Vanino with Mercuria, at a term premium of around $85-$88/mt to MOPS 180 CST HSFO assessment on a FOB basis.

--Staff, newsdesk@platts.com
--Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@platts.com

November 19, 2015

Bitumen Refinery Champion

Chamber recognizes proponents of bitumen refinery project

Bowman Centre lauded as 'Resource Champion'

The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce has presented a Resource Champion award to the Bowman Centre. Pictured, from left, are Don Wood (of the Bowman Centre); Rob Taylor, chair of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce; Katherine Albion, director of the Bowman Centre; and Walter Petryschuk, a Bowman Centre associate.
 The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce has presented a Resource Champion award to the Bowman Centre. Pictured, from left, are Don Wood (of the Bowman Centre); Rob Taylor, chair of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce; Katherine Albion, director of the Bowman Centre; and Walter Petryschuk, a Bowman Centre associate.
A group of individuals who continue to advocate for what could, if they are successful, be one of Sarnia-Lambton’s largest commercial projects in decades has been recognized by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.
The Bowman Centre, which is based at the Western Research Park Sarnia-Lambton, was singled out for the award at a ceremony last Friday.
“This group has dedicated an enormous amount of time and considerable expertise to create prosperity in Sarnia-Lambton,” said Rob Taylor, chair of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, referring to several individuals who were in attendance.
Those included Walter Petryschuk, an associate who has spent much of his career in Chemical Valley (he was once plant manager at the former Polysar complex); Don Wood, also an associate; and Katherine Albion, who is director of the Bowman Centre.
One of the major initiatives at the Bowman Centre is a proposed Sarnia-Lambton Advanced Bitumen Energy Refinery—SABER—an initiative that came from a conference held in Sarnia in 2013.
A precipitous fall in oil prices since then has clearly presented a challenge, although it has also sparked a degree of flexibility.
One example of that, says Wood, is reducing the initial scale of the proposed project, along with the inclusion of bio-feedstocks and even the product mix being proposed for SABER.
The core idea behind the project remains consistent, says Petryschuk.
“The fact is, we’re losing billions of dollars in potential added value by not refining bitumen in Canada,” he says. “that, to me, is almost criminal.”
The SABER project hasn’t altered the Bowman Centre’s vision and the existing pipeline infrastructure is sufficient to make the project viable.
Petryschuk also credited the support of the community and various volunteers with the Bowman Centre for their contributions. “Without them, we just wouldn’t get this job done,” he says.

November 9, 2015

Bitumen Bleeds at High temp..


Don Openshaw is sick of gravel being thrown onto his driveway as the stones loosen in the increasing temperatures.
ROBERT CHARLES/FAIRFAX NZ
Don Openshaw is sick of gravel being thrown onto his driveway as the stones loosen in the increasing temperatures.

Sick of loose gravel covering his driveway a New Plymouth man has resorted to vacuuming up the nuisance stones. 
Don Openshaw said the problems began when the road in front of his house on Keat Place was re-sealed in May.
"It looked at the time like the council had done a reasonable job," he said. 
"But now stones are coming off the bitumen, they're just not holding in the heat."
Openshaw said the council had swept the road three to four times since re-sealing it but he was still having to sweep his own driveway a number of times a week to remove the excess stones.
"I've even resorted to using a vacuum cleaner," he said.
"With the new rubbish system there are more trucks hurtling round the cul-de-sac and taking off the top layer of gravel."
"There are all types of bitumen and I'm not sure about the quality of the stuff they used here but I think it has to be fit for purpose."
Openshaw said if the road was being torn up in the relatively mild temperatures of spring, it would be a "molten mess" come the hotter summer months.
New Plymouth District Council infrastructure manager David Langford said it was normal for there to be some loose chip once a road had been re-sealed. 
"Keat Place has been monitored by our engineers since the new seal was applied and we are satisfied that the seal is bedding in well and performing as expected," he said. 
Langford said bitumen bleeding in hot weather can also occur on asphalt surfaces. However asphalt was reserved for main roads where a stronger surface was needed to withstand higher levels of traffic. 
"The decision on the treatment option [for a road surface] is based on what the most cost effective solution would be whilst still being appropriate from an engineering point of view," he said.
"In many residential areas there is no actual benefit to be gained by using asphalt that would justify the cost," he said. 
Source -Stuff

October 20, 2015

Reverse Split and Merger- Sign of Consolidation in Bitumen Industry

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Epcylon Technologies, Inc. (OTC PINK:PRFC) ("Epcylon" or the "Company") announces that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bitumen Capital Inc. (TSXV: BTM.H) ("Bitumen") whereby Bitumen and Epcylon will enter into an Asset Purchase Agreement (as defined hereunder) (the "Transaction") which will constitute Bitumen's qualifying transaction (the "Qualifying Transaction"), as per Policy 2.4 of the TSX Venture Exchange (the "Exchange" or "TSXV").

Pursuant to the terms of the MOU, subject to execution of a definitive asset purchase agreement ("Asset Purchase Agreement") and receipt of applicable regulatory and Exchange approvals, Bitumen will issue to Epcylon's shareholders 182,202,994 common shares of the CPC in exchange for all the assets of the Company, as further agreed upon by the Parties. The MOU is intended to be binding upon the Parties until execution of the definitive Asset Purchase Agreement.

There are currently 13,150,001 common shares of the CPC issued and outstanding and 1,315,000 allotted stock options entitling the holders, certain officers and directors of Bitumen to acquire common shares of the CPC (the "Stock Option(s)"). Each Stock Option entitles its holder to acquire a common share of the CPC at a price of $0.10 per common share at any time up to October 17, 2017. Upon completion of the Transaction, all of the 1,315,000 issued and outstanding Stock Options to officers and directors of Bitumen shall be cancelled.

Prior to closing of the Transaction, Bitumen will complete a reverse split of its common shares consisting in one (1) old share for 0.538 new shares, resulting in an aggregate number of 7,000,000 issued and outstanding common shares of Bitumen.

Current shareholders of Bitumen will hold approximately 3.7 per cent and current holders of the Company will hold approximately 96.3 per cent of the resulting issuer's common shares issued and outstanding before giving effect to the Private Placement described below.

The Transaction is not a "Non-Arm's Length Transaction" under the Exchange's policies.

Concurrently with the Qualifying Transaction, the parties intend to complete a non brokered private placement for total proceeds of USD$1,000,000 consisting of secured convertible debentures with a three (3) year term and yielding at 8 per cent at a price of US$0.20 per secured convertible debenture and one half share purchase warrant, each whole share purchase warrant entitling its holder to purchase one common share of the Resulting Issuer at a price of USD$0.30 per common share within 24 months from the date of the issuance of the warrant (the "Private Placement").

Closing and final acceptance of the Transaction are subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including the completion of a satisfactory due diligence, the execution of the Asset Purchase Agreement, obtaining required approval by shareholders, if applicable, third party and regulatory authorities and completion of the Private Placement. There are no guarantees that the Qualifying Transaction will be completed as proposed or at all.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/10/19/777358/10152877/en/Epcylon-Technologies-Inc-Enters-Into-MOU-With-Bitumen-Capital.html#sthash.dPRf10Fj.dpuf

October 8, 2015

Nigeria Missed the Bus Again - This time Not Crude But Bitumen

Iriele is a small community situated in Ondo State and the indigenes have high demands for development. Over the years, they have dreamt of the day when bitumen would be exploited, creating job opportunities, infrastructure and economic prosperity. The people of this town consider bitumen as a God endowed heritage which should be harnessed immediately to create jobs, deliver infrastructure and reduce the hardship they face daily. 

Those dreams have not become reality up till now, denting their hopes and leaving them frustrated as the indigenes of these towns wait endlessly for the government to attract the needed investment.

In the light of the foregoing, is the wider debate about Nigeria’s rich mineral reserve and the failure of the government to properly utilise the wealth of the nation to the betterment of lives of the citizenry. This belief is voiced by majority of the ordinary people in this bitumen bearing community including border communities like Agbabu and Ilubirin.

Nigeria is the sixth largest bitumen deposit in the world with most of the reserve found in Ondo State. However, there’s a wider debate about Nigeria’s rich mineral reserves and the failure of the government to properly utilize the wealth of the nation to the betterment of lives of the citizenry.

This belief is voiced by majority of the ordinary people in this bitumen bearing community including border communities like Agbabu and lIubirin. They have argued that since 

Nigeria’s crude might no longer generate sufficient revenue to run the nation’s economy, there should be an alternative to fall back on. In the perspective of these pro-bitumen agitators, bitumen is a guaranteed option as Nigeria re-defines its roadmap to economic recovery.

A lawmaker representing the Irele-Agbabu State Constituency in Ondo State House of Assembly, and one of the key proponents of bitumen Honourable Afolabi Iwalewa, thinks that the wobbly situation of Nigeria’s oil is a wakeup call for the exploitation of bitumen:

“ Any moment from now, crude oil will fade off. Look at what is happening now with the talk of oil theft. Every state is crying now, even the Federal Government is crying that it is not getting what it used to get from oil. What is the Federal Government doing, and why can’t we find another alternative? If crude oil is not going to fetch us what we project (in terms of revenue), why can’t we switch over to bitumen?”

Another standpoint of Honourable Iwalewa’s pro-bitumen advocacy is that the non-exploitation of the resource is causing people in these communities a lot of trouble because they have to cope with the reality of spill ravaging precious farmlands where bitumen is found so close to the surface that a simple shovel can excavate the glossy black substance.

Bitumen is found in tar sands, which is also a combination of clay, sand and water. A heavy black viscous substance, oil-rich bitumen is extracted from tar sands, 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 with additional upgrading.

In essence, it involves a complex process that will certainly disrupt their lives and livelihoods beyond what they can imagine. This is what the people of the bitumen bearing communities in Ondo State are calling for when they appeal for the exploitation of the resource in their soil.

Taking a closer look at the experience of Canada, the biggest producer of tar sands globally, shows that exploitation has actually resulted in serious damage to the local communities and the environment. The clearing of vast area which is a component of the mining process is responsible for the Canadian moon-landscape we see in Alberta, Canada, where large forest with pristine trees that sprawled across its landscape now looks more like a waste land ravaged by the exploration of bitumen.

In spite of all of the warnings pointing at the dangers of venturing into tar sands exploitation, especially the apparent impacts of livelihoods of ordinary people due to the far reaching implications for the environment, including the lands and water bodies, the people in the bitumen bearing communities have inclined to brush these opinions aside.

Olofun of lrele, Oba Olarenwajulebi, the octogenarian traditional ruler of the Irele community, for instance, criticizes talk of possible environmental hazards if bitumen were to be extracted in the area. He brags about of what his realm would look like if development were to prevail, using bitumen as the tool.

“If development were to succeed the way the people of this area want it, this town would have looked like Lagos. I say so because bitumen will provide a lot of employment for all the youths in this area, not in Irele alone, but all over the Southern senatorial district and even in the whole of Ondo State. The bitumen deposit here is a very huge one. It is the second largest in the world, according to the survey conducted by some experts,” he enthused.
And on the Canadian experience he explained: 

“In Canada, they do it in Calgary, and I have been there. They don’t drive away communities, and they replenish the soil. Where they mine the bitumen, they mix the soil with some chemicals, and restore it for the farmers to go back there and farm. And when those people were working here, I talked to them and they told me that even if they have to relocate some communities, they will have to build some fine buildings for them, and that the exploitation won’t affect much of their lands. It is something that they will dig from the ground; and it won’t affect us adversely.”

There’s no doubt that the allure of jobs, development and the improvement they envisage that bitumen development would give to their communities has strengthened their resolve to continue campaigning for the exploration of their God-given wealth. Any attempt to make the pro-bitumen agitators to consider the consequences is usually met with cold shoulders.

However, a geologist at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Professor Peter Odeyemi offered a much more balanced picture of the realities on the ground. Odeyemi, who was a member of the defunct Federal Government’s Bitumen Implementation Committee (BIC) made a poignant observation when he noted that the mere presence of a resource does not necessarily translate into commercially viable deposits.


“The first thing is that how much is there? We don’t know! We need to carry out further work in that area in the first instance. Secondly, exploration can be carried out by an oil company because bitumen is a hydro-carbon but also there are difficulties (technical difficulties). If an oil company is going to carry out an exploration there, there is an interest, financial one. This company will calculate how much it’s going to get. It will also look at certain technical issues and the ease of exploitation. This is so because although both of them are hydro-carbon, one is easier to exploit than the other.

Also,how will you exploit without exposing the soil to direct rain fall impact, denudation, erosion and degradation. So they have generation of enlightened professors and everything. The place is highly enlightened and the environmental issues are potent here like in Europe. If you look at the Niger Delta, the people just welcomed oil companies with open hands not knowing that oil companies are devils. They are only interested in profits. They are not in any way interested in environmental sustainability, in flora, in fauna and even in the development of the people,” he said.

He continued: “Our problem is not bitumen; our problem is corruption. What do we do with the money we have been getting from oil? The one we are exploiting, what are we doing with it? The people are getting poorer; there is no electricity, water, healthcare, and education. This is despite the fact that we are making trillions of dollars. So, if we now exploit bitumen and add another trillion, we are just going to multiply the corruption,” Odeyemi concluded.

There is no doubt that the exploration of bitumen will have a heavy toll on the environment of Iriele, and neighboring Agbabu and IIlubirin Communities in Ondo State. Water will be polluted, farmlands destroyed, large expanse of forest will be brought down and communities destroyed. Is this kind if cost these communities are willing to pay or are their alternative development paths that communities can take that will have more sustainable economic impact? As the federal government plans to diversify the economy, and explore mining of solid minerals as an alternative, there’s no gainsaying that the environment must be protected even as the nation seeks improved economic fortune.


Inwerogu wrote from Lagos

September 24, 2015

Bitumen Roads still Better ?

THE second stage of the Hindley St West redevelopment will retain the bitumen road surface after the disastrous results when slippery pavers were installed last year.
The council’s city design and transport manager, Daniel Bennett, said the second stage of the redevelopment, between Register and Morphett streets, would include wider footpaths, more lighting and tree planting but not use pavers on the road.
The pavers used in the first stage did not provide enough grip for motorists, particularly in wet conditions, and the speed limit had to be slashed to 10km/h to ensure safety.
A special “grit coating” was trialled on sections of the pavers in January, before being installed in April, when the speed limit was increased to 30km/h.
The $2 million second stage is still in the concept design phase but the council expects it to start in 2016.
Lord Mayor Martin Haese said the project was vital to the ongoing revitalisation of the West End.
“It supports recent developments, such as the SA Medical and Health Research Institute, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and UniSA, as well as encouraging more people to the area,” he said.
“The hard work put into developing the footpath upgrade with the community will help improve links within the West End Precinct to new developments on North Terrace.
“This process to renew and invigorate Hindley West really has been a team effort with the local community playing an important role.
“I’m sure we’ll all be very proud of the end result, with great new elements like greening, lighting and outdoor dining spaces.
“Collaborating with the community on these exciting improvements to our public spaces leads to further private investment that creates new jobs and exciting opportunities for our city.”
Mr Bennett said the second stage of the project would be jointly funded by the council and the State Government.
“We were very pleased to receive $1 million from the State Government and (the) council will be matching that funding,” he said.
Mr Bennett, said no decision had been made on how to permanently fix the slippery pavers from the first stage of the redevelopment.
“At the moment we are still assessing it (the grit treatment) and we will decide whether to patch it, reapply it or to find another solution,” he said.
The first stage cost $4 million and included contributions from the Adelaide City Council along with state and federal governments.
The development was criticised at the time by local traders because of delays and a loss of foot traffic while construction was ongoing.
Originally published as Slippery pavers dumped from Hindley St second upgrade
Source - theaustralian.com.au

September 23, 2015

Process and Save OilSands

Plans For Bitumen Refinery Ramp Up

Keynote speaker Frank McKenna at Bitumen Conference in Sarnia May, 2013Keynote speaker Frank McKenna at Bitumen Conference in Sarnia May, 2013
The Chairman of the Sarnia-based Bowman Centre is convinced that in 2016, possibly sooner, a commercial partner will be announced for the ambitious $10-billion SABER project.
The Sarnia-Lambton Advanced Bitumen Energy Refinery would process heavy crude from the Alberta Oil Sands and has been described as a potential game-changer for the economy.
The Bowman Centre, located at the Western Research Park, says 30 local organizations have recently committed over $100,000 to take the project to a new level.
Clem Bowman says a commerical proponent is needed to update marketing, logistics and margin analysis reflecting current crude oil prices.
He says with Prime Minister Harper’s indication of support in principle, they can proceed with or without the support of the provincial government.
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A group of former Chemical Valley executives launched the project saying Canada is losing $2.5-billion a year by exporting, rather than processing oil sands bitumen at home.
They say there is an existing pipeline from Alberta to Sarnia, access to international markets and serviced industrial land available.
There is also a commitment to build a leading edge plant in terms of energy and greenhouse gas efficiency.
(With files from Josh Boyce)