Showing posts with label Viscosity grade bitumen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Viscosity grade bitumen. Show all posts

June 20, 2019

Tembec Land Road Study

Engineering study tenders awarded for Tembec land
Posted: June 18, 2019

Engineering study tenders awarded for Tembec land

Three contracts have been awarded and work is under way for the engineering of the former Tembec lands development in Cranbrook.
Mayor Lee Pratt
“It is good to see we are moving forward with the plans for the development of this industrial land,” said City of Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt. “With the interest we are receiving regarding availability of these lands, it is important that we get moving on it. There have already been 40 new jobs created in the two leases that we have entered with the existing buildings that were on site and sitting dormant for many years. I am looking forward to more great opportunities which will present themselves to this project.”
The first contract is for environmental engineering which was awarded to SNC Lavalin to undertake a Stage 1 Preliminary Site Investigation update, update previous tables and drawings, and then complete a data gap assessment and work plan to move forward to address environmental issues which will need to be completed for the proposed development to occur.
The second contract (civil and transportation engineering) was awarded to Urban Systems Ltd. This contract includes the transportation network study and conceptual design, survey work, civil design and cost estimates, and contract administration and field inspections when construction occurs. The transportation plan will be complete in the fall of 2019 and the final civil design being complete in the fall of 2020. Deep civil utilities (water, sewer and storm) could be installed in the summer of 2020 and road construction and shallow utilities constructed in 2021 at the earliest.
The third contract was awarded to VAST Resource Solutions Inc. for geotechnical engineering to complete a geotechnical and hydrological assessment to evaluate and reduce the area currently under restrictive covenant (no build/no disturb zone) regarding potential geotechnical and drainage hazards to future development and to provide geotechnical/drainage recommendations for subdivision road construction and utility services. The geotechnical study will be complete the summer of 2019.
Staff continues to work on the concept and the strategy for the former Tembec lands specifically around marketing and branding of the property.
The city is planning to launch a new economic development micro- site in the fall of 2019 within the city current corporate website –, with the Tembec lands as a central point and driver to garner interest from investors and other business interests.
Lead image:  Tembec lands proposed layout option 06.11.19. City of Cranbrook
City of Cranbrook

Source -

May 31, 2019

Multi Model Transport

Riga Central station reconstruction contract awarded

30 May 2019
LATVIA: Design and build contracts for the reconstruction of Riga Central station as a multimodal transport hub with provision for 1 435 mm gauge services were signed on May 29 by Latvia’s Rail Baltica implementation agency Eiropas Dzelzceļa Līnijas and the Besix Rere Group.
EDzL selected the joint venture of Belgium’s Besix SA and local construction group Rere Buve SIA following an international tender launched in April 2017; this attracted seven expressions of interest, of which two were shortlisted to submit final bids in December. Besix Rere’s bid of €430·5m was significantly lower than the €545·5m from the ITL Rail Baltica grouping. The winning bidders have experience on similar projects, including the Brussels RER network and the reconstruction of Utrecht station.
Following an outline plan developed by PLH Arkitekter and Cowi, the existing 1 520 mm gauge line through the Latvian capital is to be reconstructed on an elevated alignment, along with the construction of 2·6 route-km of 1 435 mm gauge tracks. This would require six new road bridges and a 1 km bridge over the River Daugava which will include a pedestrian walkway and cycleway.
According to EDzL, the new station will be ‘compliant with modern requirements and aesthetically attractive’. The existing four island platforms will be replaced by five higher platforms to facilitate level boarding of both broad and standard gauge trains. Each platform will have stairs, escalators and lifts to improve accessibility, whilst a new 6 000m² concourse and waiting area will be built above the platforms. The multimodal transport hub will provide a new bus interchange and a multi-storey car park.
The work is to be undertaken in four phases. The completion of detailed design work is expected in 2021, with construction expected to begin in the second half of that year. To minimise disruption, work will start on the southern half of the project, with the northern part of the station area to be reconstructed once the first part of the new facilities are operational.
Construction of the elevated alignment will allow the removal of sections of the current railway embankment near the central bus station and Elizabetes Street, opening up ground-level connections between the old city and the suburb of Maskava.
Between 81% and 85% of the financing is expected to come from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility, with the remainder to be provided from Latvia’s national budget.

April 24, 2019

Public Tenders negotiations

€40m in public tenders ‘negotiated’ with unsuccessful bidders

Government resorting to ‘negotiated procedure’ when bidders do not meet requirements

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has given the green light to the Department of Contracts to ‘negotiate’ some €40 million worth of public tenders with private companies despite the latter not meeting the requirements specified in the original offer.
According to information submitted in Parliament recently, under Prof. Scicluna’s direction, the ministry approved some 17 public tenders, mostly of a substantial value, to be awarded through a so-called “negotiated procedure”, allowed by European Union public procurement rules to be used only in extreme instances of urgency.
EU public procurement rules dictate that a ‘negotiated procedure’ is a sort of last resort tool, available only in very specific circumstances with the approval of the Director of Contracts, since it implies that a contract may be awarded without prior publication, such as in cases of extreme urgency.
However, industry sources said that it seemed the government was resorting to this exception more often in order to dish out contracts directly, instead of using the procedure only as a last resort.
“The government is increasingly resorting the ‘negotiated procedure’ instead of issuing a new tender when none of the bidders meet the requested requirements,” the sources pointed out.
According to statistics, since 2013 the Finance Ministry gave an average of two approvals a year for such procedure to be used. 
Government resorting to this exception more often to dish out contracts directly
However, in 2018 alone, Prof. Scicluna approved the use of this procedure for seven tenders.
However, eyebrows were raised even sharper last February when the minister gave the green light for the Director of Contracts to negotiate directly with bidders for a €23 million contract to build a new underpass at the Tarxien/Santa Luċija roundabout.
The original tender issued for this mega road project was cancelled by the Department of Contracts after it was found that the evaluation board set up by the government had mistakenly awarded the contract, even though none of the companies’ competing had satisfied all the criteria.
However, the government did not issue a new offer, as is usually done in such a competitive tender and instead is using the negotiated procedure to award the lucrative contract to one of the same bidders who had failed to meet the original requirements.
Government sources said that this latest approval by the Finance Minister was the largest ‘negotiated procedure’ ever approved by the government.
The award of this tender is still being ‘negotiated’ by the Department of Contracts and Infrastructure Malta, the government road building agency responsible for the public contract. 
Apart from this procedure, the Finance Ministry is also tasked with approving direct orders given to various companies and individuals without the issue of a competitive tender.
Despite strict rules that direct orders have to be limited in scope and value, the current administration is granting many direct orders every year.
This has been already highlighted in various reports issued by the National Audit Office.
Source - Times of Malta

March 1, 2019

Road Delays

Mutorwa concerned over road projects delays

by Sakeus Iikela

John Mutorwa
WORKS minister John Mutorwa is concerned over unnecessary delays in implementing national road projects, including tenders worth more than N$1,4 billion.
Mutorwa told the Roads Authority (RA) in a letter sent to chief executive Conrad Lutombi on 14 February 2019 to avoid bureaucratic bottlenecks that were delaying the implementation of road projects.

He was responding to Lutombi's letter sent on 14 February 2019, in which the RA CEO explained the issues that are delaying the implementation of two prioritised road projects under the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

The projects in question include the last phase of the Windhoek-Okahandja road, which is 21 kilometres and requires N$1 billion, and the last eight-kilometre part of the Swakopmund-Walvis Bay road that needs N$435 million to complete.

In the letter, Lutombi said the two tenders for these projects were not advertised because they had asked the ministry to exempt the two projects from the “general government moratorium, which stipulates that no new government project should be commenced without the necessary approval”.

Only after that permission was granted would the tenders be advertised for bids, as per the Public Procurement Act, he said.

When approached for clarity on Monday, Lutombi said they requested permission to start the new projects to avoid perceptions that they were doing things under the carpet.

He said the two projects will thus be advertised after they get permission.

In his letter, Mutorwa said he is expected to report to Cabinet on progress made on road projects in all 14 regions, based not only on “glossy narrative reports, but concretely and visibly indicating the actual projects that were successfully and practically implemented”.

The minister said on Monday that the moratorium referred to by Lutombi does not exist, hence his advice to the RA to avoid unnecessary delays.

“I don't even know what you are talking about. This issue was discussed on Friday [last week], and I advised them as per my notes on the letter that was sent to them,” he stated.

The Namibian reported last year that the RA wanted to give the contractors on site extensions to work on the extra kilometres to avoid advertising the tenders.

Lutombi at the time argued that the projects would be delayed, and it would cost the government more money if the contracts are re-advertised.

According to him, extending the contracts of the companies currently on site would be cheaper, and save up to N$251 million.

This move was, however, blocked by the Central Procurement Board, which ordered the parastatal to advertise the tenders.

Works executive director Willem Goeiemann yesterday said although proposals were submitted to the government on how to handle the new tenders for these projects, a final decision was yet to be made.

He said the ministry was still busy with consultations, which include options on whether or not to advertise the new tenders.

The spokesperson of the works ministry, Julius Ngweda, confirmed to The Namibian that the parties were still divided on this matter, but the ministry wants the tenders to be advertised.

“They (RA) wanted to proceed with the companies already on site. But when we looked at the amount, we saw that it would not work, and it would also not be in compliance with the Procurement Act.

“The ministry wants the tenders to be advertised because there are people who wanted things to be done under the carpet. The current minister wants things to be done procedurally,” he stated.

January 2, 2019

Infrastructure Boom

Controversial tender system allows Turkish companies to dominate World Bank public investment list

Five of the world’s top 10 private sponsors of public infrastructure projects are Turkish companies, figures in the World Bank’s 2018 Private Participation in Infrastructure Database show.
Limak Holding, Cengiz Holding, Kolin, Kalyon and MNG Holding are the Turkish companies crowding the top 10, where they are joined by companies from Brazil, Germany, the United States and France.
The heavy Turkish presence on the list reflects Turkey’s status as one of the world’s highest investors in infrastructure projects. The World Bank’s data places Turkey as the fourth highest with $143 billion worth of investment, after Brazil, India and China.
The increased investment that brought Turkey back to the top five in 2018 was largely thanks to four highway megaprojects, the World Bank’s report said.
However, the number of Turkish companies on the list is likely down to Turkey’s private-public partnership system, which has been used to fund a diverse array of megaprojects that includes bridges, ports, roads, airports and even the planned construction of a massive canal that will join the Black Sea and Marmara Sea, turning Istanbul into an island.
High-profile projects still under construction include a new airport in Istanbul, where a soft opening was held in October. The airport, which is planned to be the world’s largest when construction is finally complete, is being built by a consortium of five companies, four of which - Limak, Kolin, Cengiz and Kalyon – feature in the World Bank’s list. The fifth, Mapa Construction, is a Saudi-based company.
Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has gained great political capital from the projects completed in Turkey using this system, and the long list of successful infrastructure projects serves as an inexhaustible source to draw from when AKP politicians are challenged to defend their party’s achievements over 16 years in power.
However, critics say the system has been used as a way of giving out handouts to the government’s clients. It allows private companies granted tender on the projects to make an initial investment and construct the infrastructure, after which they are granted the license to operate it for periods often reaching decades.
One of the main sources of criticism stems from the guaranteed income the government often grants these companies during their tender period. Agreements may stipulate that, in the event that a tender-operating company’s revenues from the infrastructure projects do not reach a certain level, the government will pay the difference.
This has led at times to massive pay-outs from the public coffers to contractors. That the income is often guaranteed in dollars or euros has exaggerated public losses even further this year, as the lira lost value heavily against international currencies.
With the revelation that five Turkish companies had done enough business in this fashion to enter the World Bank’s top ten list, Turks on social media quickly pointed out that none of these five companies were among the list of Turkey’s top taxpayers.
A glaring example demonstrating the shortcomings of the AKP’s public-private partnership system came with the construction of an airport designed to service the three western Turkish provinces of Kütahya, Uşak and Afyonkarahisar.
The income guaranteed to the contractor, IC İçtaş, is based on passenger quotas of hundreds of thousands of passengers per year. However, over the first five years in operation, the passenger numbers have fallen 95 percent short of these quotas, a figure that has cost the Turkish public over 20 million euros to date.
With the company granted tender until 2044, that figure if it maintains its current rate will rise to over 200 million euros in total – a figure that dwarfs its initial 50 million-euro investment.
Source - AHVAL

October 21, 2015

Bitumen Market Research Report 2015

Global Bitumen Market (Paving Bitumen, Oxidized Bitumen, Cutback Bitumen, Bitumen Emulsion, Polymer Modified Bitumen and Others) for Roadways, Waterproofing, Adhesives, Insulation and Other Applications -

Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2020
102 pages   Published Date: 2014-09-09  

Bitumen is primarily used as a binder in road construction along with other applications such as electronics, waterproofing for roofing, and in adhesives due to its resistance to water, insulation properties and high durability.

The properties of bitumen can be altered by adding polymers to it, thereby increasing its application scope. Bitumen is known as “asphalt” or “asphalt cement” in North America.

However, “asphalt” is a term used for a mixture of sand, small stones and other filler materials in the rest of the world. This mixture contains about 5% of bitumen. The mixture is known as “asphalt concrete” or more particularly “blacktop” in North America.

Bitumen is available in a number of grades based upon the standard mentioned by certain tests such as penetration test. Bitumen 80/100, bitumen 60/70 and bitumen 40/50 are the most commonly used bitumen, where the numerical values represent hardness of bitumen.

Softer bitumen represents greater penetration units.

Similarly, VG-10, VG-20, VG-30 and VG-40 are the viscosity grades of bitumen. Thus, different grades of bitumen are often represented as bitumen 80/100/VG-10.

Infrastructure activities to improve road networks in developed and developing nations are expected to drive the growth of the bitumen market. Furthermore, increasing applications of polymer modified bitumen (PMB) as chemical additives and adhesives in household and road construction are anticipated to boost the demand for bitumen. Additionally, rising construction activities for industries, commercial buildings and housing are estimated to drive the demand for bitumen over the next six years. However, environmental issues associated with the extraction of bitumen from oil sands are projected to hamper market growth. Increasing substitution of bitumen by concrete is also likely to adversely affect the bitumen market. However, development of bio-based bitumen or bio-bitumen and its commercialization over the next few years is expected to offer opportunities for the bitumen market. Furthermore, development of bio-bitumen is anticipated to ease the production pressure on the depleting fossil fuel reserves.

Paving grade bitumen, which is used in roadway application as a binder for asphalt, was the largest consumed type of bitumen in 2013. It accounted for over 65% of the market share in 2013.

Polymer modified bitumen (PMB) is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the market due to its increasing demand in road construction and roofing applications. Polymer modified bitumen is increasingly used in construction of roadways and waterproofing applications as it offers various advantages such as heating at lower temperatures, ability to increase porosity of roads and enhancement of performance of the applications.

With over 80% share in 2013, road construction was the largest application segment for bitumen due to its high viscosity and stickiness.

Other applications of bitumen include its usage in roofing industry, paints and enamels, adhesives, automotives and decorative applications, and as an insulator in electrical and electronics industry.

Focus of national governments of China and India on improving road network and the consequent inclusion of the same in the five-year plans is anticipated to fuel growth of bitumen in Asia Pacific over the next six years.

However, waterproofing is expected to be the fastest growing application of bitumen during the forecast period, due to growth in infrastructure activities in developing countries such as China and India.

North America was the largest consumer of bitumen in 2013 due to the significant network of roads in the U.S. The region accounted for over 30% of the market in 2013.

Redevelopment and repair of existent roads accounts for the primary consumption of bitumen in this region. This is in contrast to emerging economies where the consumption is driven by development of new infrastructure.

However, Asia Pacific (including China) is expected to be the fastest growing market for bitumen during the forecast period due to rapid industrialization in the region. This is expected to drive infrastructure development in the next few years.

The bitumen market is highly fragmented, with the top eight companies accounting for approximately 39% of the total market share in 2013. Leading bitumen manufacturing companies include Shell Bitumen, NuStar Energy, ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil Company and Valero Energy Corporation.

Source - Transparency Market Research

November 23, 2013

Buffet Continues to invest in Bitumen

Buffett Increases His Oil Sands Stake With $3.45 Billion Exxon Mobil Investment

Ron Daems, President of Strata Oil & Gas Inc., discusses how Warren Buffett's latest oil investment affects shareholders

It has now been revealed that Warren Buffett's oil sands exposure has increased again, with his 40.1 million share purchase of Exxon Mobil, one of the world's leading producers and a major player in Alberta's enormous bitumen play through its 70% stake in Imperial Oil.

This is Buffett's second recent high-profile oil investment, the first being in June when Berkshire Hathaway announced it had taken a $500-million stake in Suncor Energy Inc., the world's leading oil sands producer and Canada's largest integrated operator.

Tellingly, Buffett increased his stake in Exxon Mobil right around the time it was acquiring the enormous Clyden in-situ bitumen project from ConocoPhillips - a company whose stock he just sold, reducing his holdings in it by 44 percent.

ExxonMobil/Imperial also owns the Kearl project - another massive Alberta-based bitumen project with 4.6 billion barrels of bitumen resource and a project lifespan of over 40 years. Production is already at 80,000 barrels per day.

In short, Buffett's ExxonMobil stake gives him ownership in Imperial Oil - one of Exxon Mobil's jewels-in-the-crown, partly because of its enormous Canadian oil sands position.
Ron Daems, President of Strata Oil, provided these comments to shareholders:

"Strata Oil views Buffett's increased stake in ExxonMobil as good news for Alberta's bitumen producers, and a real endorsement of the future potential of the resource. Many of the leading 'Carbonate Triangle' companies have already attracted the investment dollars of some of the world's major investment institutions including Warburg Pincus, Blackstone Capital, and Goldman Sachs. But there's no doubt that Buffett's $3.45 billion stake in ExxonMobil/Imperial and his earlier $500 million stake in oil-sands producer Suncor is the kind of good news that really bodes well for Alberta's bitumen production," said Mr. Daems.

"All these developments mean that momentum is building in Alberta's bitumen carbonate play, and Strata Oil has one of the largest and most attractive projects in the industry. We acquired our project in 2005 and 2006, making us one of the earliest companies to position in the carbonates. Through drilling and geological analysis, we now have a recoverable resource of 887 million barrels of crude, and a total resource of 3.4 billion barrels. We believe our company offers substantial value to its shareholders."

Strata Oil's Cadotte Central project is estimated to have a Net Present Value (NPV) of USD $1.3 billion. Its newly updated total of 887 million bbls of recoverable bitumen provides significant additional upside potential which hasn't been factored into the $1.3 billion calculation yet.

Source- einews

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

September 12, 2012

Bitumen - One Delivery Many Claims
Bitumen Packed in Drums and Polybags for Delivery
Blame bumpy rides and large potholes on city roads on a bitumen scam. An AMC inquiry into the poor condition of some of the city's roads revealed some contractors were not just cutting corners but also submitting the same bitumen purchase bills for multiple road contracts.

"Preliminary investigations suggest that unscrupulous contractors are not adhering to quality standards specified and over-charging the corporation by submitting copies of the same bitumen bills for multiple projects," said a senior AMC official.

"This is not all, none of the contractors quote the same price of constructing one kilometre of road. This is because AMC's contracts have no standardized rates for road construction and constractors exploit this condition and bank crores of the taxpayers' money," says a senior AMC official.

Beside this, another major flaw is that, though mandatory, no contractor mentions the date of construction of the road or even submits a timely report of the repairs carried during the five-year guarantee period. "The guarantee term ends when a gas agency or a telephone company digs up the road. The bill of repairs is then borne by AMC and partly by the company which dig up the road, instead of the contractor. The municipal corporation has lost crores to such careless digging," adds the official.

Engineering experts suggest that contractors be made liable to repair roads even after such digging work and the money be claimed from the companies that dug up the road.

Source- Times of India

September 6, 2012

Asphalt Association

Promotion of asphalt and bitumen bound products within the pavement industry
Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) promotes sustainable use and growth of bitumen products in Australia's pavement industry. 
Formed as a non profit organisation in 1969, The Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) promotes the economic use of asphalt and bitumen bound products which are based on sound technical and commercial grounds. With a progressive and innovative approach, AAPA throughout it’s history has maintained it's major objective as being the continued improvement in Australia’s pavement industry by promoting the sustainable use and growth of asphalt and bitumen based products.

AAPA membership is open to all organisations involved in the industry which includes suppliers of bitumen and asphalt as well as sprayed surface operators. Local governments and state government road authorities are also invited.

The association’s activities fit into five categories:

  • Enhancing industry performance
  • Product positioning
  • Technology and research
  • Education and training
  • Health, safety and environment.
At all times the AAPA and it’s members will act professionally with a great deal of honesty and integrity in the hope that the associations reputation is always kept at a high standard.

Source- Infolink

August 2, 2012

Asphalt and Cancer- Is there a Link ?

Roofers and road construction workers who use hot asphalt are exposed to high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published this week in the British Medical Journal Open shows that roofers have higher PAH blood-levels after working a shift and that these high levels of PAHs are linked with increased rates of DNA damage, and potentially with higher cancer risk.

“We’ve known for some time that roofers and road workers have higher cancer rates than the general population, but we also know roofers have a higher rates of smoking, alcohol use and higher UV exposure than the general population. It’s been difficult to pinpoint the cause of higher cancer rates – is it due to higher PAHs or is it due to lifestyle and other risk factors?” says Berrin Serdar, MD, PhD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at the Colorado School of Public Health.

Her study, completed with colleagues at the University of Miami, studied 19 roofers from four work sites in Miami-Dade County. Participants’ urine samples, provided before and after a 6-hour shift, showed that after acute exposure to hot asphalt, PAH biomarkers were elevated. Overall, biomarkers of PAH exposure and oxidative DNA damage (8-OHdG) were highest among workers who didn’t use protective gloves and workers who also reported work related skin burns, pointing to the role of PAH absorption through skin.

“PAHs are a complex mixture of chemicals some of which are known human carcinogens. They are produced by incomplete combustion of organic materials and exist in tobacco smoke, engine exhaust, or can come from environmental sources like forest fires, but the highest exposure is among occupational groups, for example coke oven workers or workers who use hot asphalt,” Serdar says.

“We can’t say with certainty that exposure to hot asphalt causes roofers’ increased cancer rate,” Serdar says, “but that possibility is becoming increasingly likely. Hot asphalt leads to PAH exposure, leads to higher PAH biomarkers, leads to increased DNA damage – we hope to further explore the final link between DNA damage due to PAH exposure and higher cancer rates in this population.”

Serdar and colleagues at the CU Cancer Center have initiated a wider study of roofers in the Denver metropolitan area. This study will simultaneously investigate air, blood, and urine levels of PAHs and their link to DNA damage in samples collected over a workweek.
Source-  abcforums

June 23, 2012

Re Application of Novel Oil Sands Project

E-T Energy Ltd., Calgary, indicated it will refile an application for commercial-scale production of bitumen in Alberta based on a proprietary electrical heating system.

The provincial Energy Resources Conservation Board returned an application filed in July 2009 saying the company hadn’t demonstrated that the system, ET-DSP (for electrothermal dynamic stripping process), can obtain or sustain commercial bitumen production rates. The ERCB cited a lack of production data.
E-T said the application didn’t include results of a crucial field test that remains in progress. It said the test, which it calls Step 3, won’t establish the recovery factor and energy-oil ratio required to produce bitumen until later this year or early next year.

The returned application was for a 10,000 b/d project. “In light of the recent decision by the ERCB, the timing of the Step 3 results, and weak capital markets, management will be considering other alternatives, including a smaller project building upon the existing Step 3 field test surface assets,” E-T said in a statement.
The company holds acreage in the Athabasca oil sands region adjacent to Fort McMurray. The ET-DSP system, based on a grid of production and electrode wells, has been used by the environmental industry for remediation of contaminated sites.

E-T wants to apply the technology to recovery of bitumen from Lower Cretaceous McMurray formation zones too deep to be mined, more than about 75 m, and too shallow to be produced by steam-assisted gravity drainage, less than about 150 m.

 By OGJ editors

October 4, 2011

Waste Recycling

Rebuilding C&D Waste Recycling Efforts in India

In India nearly 50% of Construction & Demolition waste is being re-used and recycled, while the remainder is mostly landfilled. Professor Sadhan Ghosh explains why the management of this material is becoming a major concern for town planners, and challenges of increasing awareness about recycling.

In India it's common practice for large Construction and Demolition (C&D) projects to pile waste in the road, resulting in traffic congestion. C&D waste from individual households finds its way into nearby municipal bins and waste storage depots making the municipal waste heavy, and degrading its quality for treatments such as composting or energy recovery. The Indian construction industry is highly labour intensive and has accounted for approximately 50% of the country's capital outlay in successive Five Year Plans, and projected investment continues to show a growing trend. Out of 48 million tonnes of solid waste generated in India, C&D waste makes up 25% annually.

Rapid economic growth leading to urbanisation and industrialisation is generating waste, which is adversely effecting the environment. The percentage of India's population living in cities and urban areas increased from 14% at the time of independence to 27.8%. Projections for building material requirement by the housing sector indicate a shortage of aggregates to the extent of about 55,000 million m3. An additional 750 million m3 of aggregates would be required to achieve the targets of the road sector. There is also a huge demand for aggregates in the housing and road sectors, but there is a significant gap in demand and supply.

Estimated waste generation during construction is 40 kg per m2 to 60 kg per m2. Similarly, waste generation during renovation and repair work is estimated to be 40 kg per m2 to 50 kg per m2. The highest contribution to waste generation comes from the demolition of buildings. Demolition of pucca (permanent) and semi-pucca buildings, on average generates between 300kg per m2 and 500 kg per m2 of waste, respectively.

The presence of C&D waste and other inert matters makes up almost one third of the total MSW on an average, but so far no notable development has taken place for using this in an organised manner. At present, private contractors remove this waste to privately owned, low-lying land for a price, or more commonly, dump it in an unauthorised manner along roads or other public land.

Taking action

The fine dust like material (fines) from C&D waste is not currently being used and is thus wasted. In more than 95% cases wastes such as bricks, metal, wood, plastics and glass have some market value and there are contractors who focus solely on dealing in C&D wastes. The use of these materials requires them to be sorted and separated, and is dependent on their condition, although the majority of this material is durable and therefore has a high potential for reuse. It would, however, be desirable to have quality standards for the recycled materials.

An investigation revealed that total waste from India's construction industry could reach 12-14 mt per year

In view of the significant role of recycled construction material in the development of urban infrastructure, the Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC) has conducted a techno-market survey on 'Utilisation of Waste from Construction Industry', targeting the house building and road construction industries. The total quantum of waste from the construction industry is estimated to be between 12 million to 14.7 million tonnes per annum, out of which seven to eight million tonnes are concrete and brick waste. According to the survery's findings 70% of the respondents said they were "not aware of the recycling techniques" as the reason for not recycling C&D waste, while the remaining 30% have indicated that they are not even aware of recycling possibilities. Furthermore, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and other codal provisions do not provide specifications for the use of recycled products in construction activities.

In July this year, in West Bengal, a consultative committee comprising top level municipal management and experts from the Centre for Quality Management System and Mechanical Engineering of Jadavpur University and government departments was formed to address solid waste management issues, including C&D Wastes.

Construction waste in Delhi

Gurgaon Municipal Corporation near Delhi is planning a C&D waste recycling plant on five acres of land. There is considerable construction activity taking place in Gurgaon, but no place to dump the C&D wastes. The fast pace of the construction and renovation work will continue for at least the next five years. Hence, there is need for a C&D waste processor.

With the three existing landfill sites having exhausted their capacity some time ago, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has given the go-ahead for the establishment of a sanitary landfill facility at Narela-Bawana in northwest Delhi.

The Rs 700 million ($15.5 million) integrated solid waste management facility is being developed to meet Delhi's garbage disposal needs for the next 20 years. The site is being developed as the first engineered landfill site in the city and is spread over 150 acres. Approximately 50 acres will be kept aside for disposing of C&D wastes.

The landfill site will take care of refuse from Rohini and Civil Lines zones, and has an initial capacity to handle 1000 tonnes per day, and is planned to expand to handle 4000 tonnes per day. Around 6500 tonnes per day of MSW is generated in Delhi. The Narela-Bawana landfill site has been notified under Master Plan 2021. In addition, the MCD has also carried out a feasibility study on use of C&D waste in road and embankment construction.

Recycled roads in Kolkata

As in many other countries, in Kolkata the recycling of bituminous material is carried out using hot or cold mixing techniques either on site, or at a central asphalt mixing plant. It offers benefits including reduced use of asphalt, energy savings and a reduction in aggregate requirements. Cold in-situ recycling is done by pulverising chunks of road material to a certain depth, mixing in cement, bitumen emulsion or foamed bitumen and compacting. This recycling process is best suited to roads with light traffic.

For hot in-situ recycling, the upper layer of the road is pre-heated and the asphalt is loosened by milling devices. It is mixed together with a recycling agent and the mixture is spread along the road and compacted. Both practices are widespread in Kolkata.


In India there has yet to be a concerted effort to enact legislation governing C&D waste management. There are however some initiatives in different states to address the issue in isolation, or in tandem with the existing Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000.

One example of this is the state of Maharashtraa, which has taken a pioneering step to include a separate collection and disposal of debris and bulk waste in its Action Plan. Under the plan each city is required to have a mechanism for the collection and disposal of waste and construction debris from bulk producers. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has enacted the "Construction, Demolition and De-silting Waste (Management and Disposal) Rules".

Waste recycling plans should be developed for construction and demolition projects, prior to beginning construction activity. The plans should identify the wastes that will be generated and designate handling, recycling and disposal methods.

A minimum of 4% of the total site area should be allocated for storage and pre-treatment of the waste. This storage area should be covered and the pollutants from the waste should not affect the surrounding. Demolition contractors specialise in planned deconstruction that enables the recovery of good material for re-use to be maximised. Recovery rates vary from 25% in old buildings to as high as 75% in new buildings. The demolition of old buildings usually generates wastes such as brick, wood and steel. In India most of the old buildings are mainly made up of good quality bricks. The foundation of the old buildings is of load bearing type where a huge number of bricks were used. When an old building is demolished, almost all the materials are sold at reasonable price. Table 1 shows the quantity and make up of C&D waste per annum in India.

Analysis shows that reuse of construction waste can reduce the cost of low budget houses by approximately 30% to 35% without compromising the durability of the structure.


Legislation needs to specifically address C&D waste management. In addition, the awareness level and availability of technology for C&D waste re-use and recycling needs to be improved to make a sustainable change in India. Quality standards for the recycled or re-used products need to be developed and monitored by Bureau of Indian Standards.

Not much effort has been made in this sector and data on generation and characteristics is scarcely available. There should be a proper institutional mechanism to take care of the collection, transportation, intermediate storage (if necessary), utilisation and disposal of C&D wastes. Appropriate rules should be framed and implemented. Separation of C&D waste should be promoted at source and private enterprise can be gainfully employed for the collection and transportation of the waste. Public-Private-Partnership schemes may be a possible mechanism of implementation of C&D waste management in India.

Sadhan Ghosh is president of the International Society of Waste Management, Air and Water (ISWMAW), India and professor of Mechanical Engineering at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. e-mail:

Co-authors include Sannidhya Ghosh, a day scholar at the university and Asit Aich, executive engineer, department of municipal affairs, Government of West Bengal, Kharagpur.

September 26, 2010

Viscosity Grading of Bitumen

Grading of Bitumen, although various standards are in place, the property whether Penetration or Viscosity has to be determined for the effective selection of the material for construction of roads is discussed here.

The grading of bitumen through penetration test at 25°C was first adopted in the early Sixtees on Paving Bitumen, which was in practice till today . The key requirements for bitumen were the specific gravity, penetration, water content, flash point, softening point, ductility, loss on heating
test and solubility in trichloroethylene. Bitumen conforming to this standard was performing well , when construction specifications like surface dressing and premix carpet were largely in practice. With the increased use of designed dense mixes, increased traffic volume and loading, higher road user's expectations and changes in crude quality, was felt essential lately . Hence new standards were developed like penetration ratio, paraffin wax, Frass breaking point, Loss on heating by Thin Film Oven Test (TFOT) and absolute viscosity at 60°C and 135°C were introduced.

Penetration ratio is an indicative test for temperature susceptibility, while the wax content in excess of 5% is considered harmful as it produces tender mixes due to the lowering of viscosity at 60°C. Refineries are generally producing only two grades of bitumen viz 80/100 and 60/70 penetration grades. The specified values of viscosity for these two grades of bitumen are minimum 750 and 1500 Poise respectively, which are not considered adequate to control rutting at high pavement temperatures (say, 60-70°C). Therefore, viscosity based specifications were extensively deliberated by experts in the BIS forums and ultimately decided to switch over from Penetration based grading system to Viscosity based grading system .

The revised grading system is yet to be implemented both by manufactures and by highway construction industry , though the choice of viscosity grades is simple since the following criterion of equivalency holds good .

Advantages of Viscosity Grading Concept

• Viscosity is fundamental property; testing is independent of test system and sample size
• Viscosity is tested at 60°C which is regarded as maximum pavement temperature in summer
• Temperature susceptibility can be controlled by viscosity test results at 60 and 135°C.

However, all said, refineries are mostly producing / specifying in terms or Penetration grades till now.