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

September 21, 2017

Tender Sytesm Vs Cops

Systemic delay in repairing roads.Systemic delay in repairing roads.

HYDERABAD: The long-drawn tender process followed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) for relaying dug-up roads should either be done away with completely or streamlined to put the city's road infrastructure back on track, feel traffic cops.

Pointing out that currently it takes at least six months to complete just the tender process for restoration of dug up roads, which the city just cannot afford, traffic cops said there are several instances of road stretches being dug up repeatedly and not being re-surfaced, leaving behind un-motorable roads as the civic body's tender process takes its own sweet time.

As per the current system, when an agency seeks permission from GHMC for road digging, cost of required restoration work has to be submitted by the agency to the civic body before taking up the work. However, the tender process for restoring roads starts only after digging is completed.

"While it not possible to refuse permission for any development work, in most cases the contractor just dumps mud or loose gravel on the stretches. It is the gap between the completion of work and the actual filling of the road that results in traffic woes. We have suggested that the procedural fulfilling of tender be done away with and the road be filled immediately after the work is done," said AV Ranganath, deputy commissioner of police, traffic (Hyderabad II).

In fact, Malkajgiri, Anandbagh, Banjara Hills (Road No 5), Ayyappa Society , Secunderabad, LB Nagar, Bowenpally , Madhavpuri Hills, Chandanagar, PJR Enclave, KPHB and Sultan bazaar are examples of areas where such dug up road stretches have become a never-ending nightmare.

"The Maharani Jhansi Road from Putlibowli Chowrasta to Afzalganj has been in a poor condition for the past two ye ars. Only surgical repair work by pouring bitumen is done after the frequent digging work," complained resident Balasubramanyam Perugu.


Yingo !! Faashtu Traaku antay Naakishtamochhinonkisthaa .. annattu .. Gadhay Dora & Son (P) Ltd ku gaavaalay .. Ovvallathono Jeppichhi, Nijamganay Sathrolaipoyindhi "processu" anjeppi S... Read MoreArey O Sambha

Chandramohan Singh, a resident of Marredpally , said, "The road from Reliance Fresh super market to the check post in West Marredpally was repaired about six months back but is back to its potholed self. Even the road near Lions Hospital, which was dug up for laying drainage pipes, has not been restored."

While GHMC authorities admitted the tender process takes at least two months, they said that in the case of Malkajgiri the delays stretched to nearly a year because the payment was completed only recently by Water Board, which has taken up pipeline laying work. "Once the work is completed, estimates are drawn up and sent for sanction. Then a tender is called for and a contractor is decided. The process requires at least two months.While dealing with other departments we can't press for payment beforehand," said M Shanker, deputy chief engineer, maintenance, GHMC.

Source- Times of India

September 6, 2017

Road Projects

Contractors finalised for a number of road projects in FS 
15:22 (GMT+2) Tue, 05 Sep 2017
Contractors finalised for a number of road projects in FS  | News Article
The Free State Department of Police, Roads, and Transport says there are a number of roads in the province that still need to be fixed.

MEC Sam Mashinini today said that these roads, including the one between Odendaalsrus and Wesselsbron, are not covered in the current financial year and needs attention. He added that since the end of July the department has finalised tenders for successful contractors for a number of road projects in the province. The handover site meetings for, among others, the Kroonstad-Steynsrus, Vredefort-Hoopstad, Vredefort-Viljoenskroon and Bothaville-Viljoenskroon roads commenced yesterday. He says the department needs to maintain these roads once it is completed.
“One of the problems that I am currently giving attention to, is how best do we make sure that the roads in the province are maintained over the long term. I have deliberately asked the different stakeholders to say how,  once the road between Bothaville and Viljoenskroon is completed, we can maintain it. That road is economically viable in terms of the farms there. That road is mostly used and that’s why we are targeting it,” says Mashinini.
He adds that the department’s objective is to build capacity by investing in human resources through skills development. He says the department wants to create a sustainable economic climate in the province and to deliver public infrastructure by using labour intensive technology.
He says from 2008 until last year they have had an intake of 173 contractors of which 83 graduated. In total 78 is still active and engaged in projects in the province.

February 17, 2017

Bitumen in Road Construction

Bitumen is used in road construction due to various properties and advantages it has over other pavement construction materials. Advantages of bitumen for road construction is discussed.

Why is Bitumen Used in Road Construction?

Bitumen gain certain unique properties that are inbuilt in it during its manufacture. The bitumen as a raw material in flexible road construction and bitumen as a mix (composing other materials i.e. aggregates/ pozzolans) serves certain advantages, that prompt to use bitumen widely in road construction.

Use of Bitumen in Flexible Road Construction

The reason behind the significant application of bitumen in flexible pavements are explained below:

1. Production of Bitumen is economical

Bitumen is a by-product of crude oil distillation process. Crude oil itself is a composition of hydrocarbons. The primary products that are available are the petrol, diesel, high octane fuels and gasoline.
When these fuels are refined from the crude oil, the bitumen is left behind. Further treatment of by-product, to make it free from impurities give pure bitumen.
As the primary product demand is of utmost importance to the society, the bitumen as a by product has survival for long. This by product is utilized as a new construction material, without going for any other new resource.

2. Physical and Rheological Properties of Bitumen bring Versatility

The physical and the chemical properties of Bitumen are found to be a function of load level, temperature and the duration of loading. It is a thermoplastic and viscoelastic material.
These dependencies make us to truly access the traffic on the road so that a bitumen mix properties can be varied based on the stress levels calculated. This versatility of bitumen results in a large variety of bitumen mix, based on the road application.

3. The Melting Point of Bitumen is low

It is highly appreciable about the fact that bitumen has a favorable melting point, that helps in both surface dressing and wearing resistance with ease.
The melting point of the bitumen should not be too high, that it can be melted easily during laying the pavement. At the same time, bitumen has a melting point, which would not let the already casted road pave to melt and deform under high temperatures.
In areas of high temperatures, along with this quality of bitumen, the aggregate composition helps to cover up the effect of large temperature.

4. Bitumen can undergo Recycling

As the melting point of bitumen is favorable, it can be melted back to its original state. This is called as asphalt recycling process.
The torn-up asphalt pieces are taken up to the recycling plant, instead of sending them to landfills. This recycled mix can be reused. If necessary, the old bitumen is mixed with new bitumen and new aggregates to make the mix live again.

5. Bitumen gain Adhesive Nature

As explained in the production of bitumen, it is free from hydrocarbon and hence not toxic. The by product is refined to maximum to get rid of organic materials and impurities.
The bitumen has a highly adhesive nature, which keeps the materials in the road mix bind together under strong bonds. These become stronger when the mix is set i.e. ready for vehicle movement.

6. Bitumen has Color Variety

The traditional bitumen is black in color. This is because the dense organic material within bitumen is black in color. Now, when certain pigments are added to bitumen, the color of our choice can be obtained. These are colored bitumen.
It is costly than the normal colored bitumen. The disadvantage of colored bitumen is that it requires more chemical additives and materials.

Requirements of Bitumen Mixes for Road Construction

An overall bitumen mix is used in the construction of flexible pavement to serve the following needs.
  • Structural Strength
  • Surface Drainage
  • Surface Friction

Structural Strength of Bituminous Pavements

The figure below shows a typical cross section of flexible pavement, that was developed in the USA. The structural bitumen layer composes of:
  • Bituminous surface or wearing course
  • Bituminous binder course
  • Bituminous base course
The primary purpose of these bitumen mixes is structural strength provision. This involves even load dispersion throughout the layers of the pavement. The loads involved are dynamic or static loads, which is transferred to the base subgrade through the aggregate course.
A granular base with a bituminous surface course is only provided for roads of low traffic. It is just sufficient and economical.
The rebounding effect of bitumen upper layers helps in having resistance against high dynamic effect due to the heavy traffic. Rebounding property is reflected by the stiffness and the flexibility characteristics of the bitumen top layers. When looking from bottom to top, the flexibility characteristics should increase.
Studies have shown that the above mentioned characteristics of aggregates are attained using densely graded bitumen mixes. This mix should make use of nominal maximum size aggregate (NMAS), that must decrease from the base course- binder course – surface course.
The nominal maximum size aggregate (NMAS) = One sieve larger than first sieve-to retain more than 10% of combined aggregate.
There is a higher amount of bitumen content in the wearing course, that make the layer more flexible. This would help in increasing the durability.

Surface Drainage of Bituminous Pavements

Subsurface drainage can be facilitated using granular sub base in the construction of flexible pavement. Permeable asphalt treated base (PATB) can be used to provided positive surface drainage in major highways. This would behave as a separate course for facilitating subsurface drainage.

Surface Friction of Bituminous Roads

It is essential for the pavement layer to provide enough skid resistance and friction, during vehicle passage, especially in wet condition. This would ensure the safety of the passengers. The macro and the micro surface texture of the asphalt mix contributes towards the surface friction.

The mix gradation i.e. open graded or dense graded will contribute to macro surface texture. The open graded mix have higher macro surface than dense graded. The water is squeezed out from the bottom of vehicle tire when the high macro surface texture is implemented.
The micro surface texture is contributed by the aggregate surface, that is exposed when the above bitumen layer is torn.

Advantages of Bituminous Road Construction Over Concrete Pavements

1. A smooth Ride Surface

It does not make use of any joints; Hence provide a smooth surface to ride. It also gives less sound emission when compared with concrete pavements. The wear and tear are less in the bituminous pavement, thus maintaining the smoothness.

2. Gradual Failure

The deformation and the failure in the bituminous pavement is a gradual process. The concrete pavement shows brittle failures.

3. Quick Repair

They have an option to be repaired to be quick. They don’t consume time in reverting the path for traffic; as they set fast.

4. Staged Construction

This helps in carrying out staged construction in a situation when problems of fund constraint or traffic estimation problems are faced.

5. Life Cost is Less

The initial cost and overall maintenance cost of bituminous pavement are less compared to concrete pavement.

6. Temperature Resistant

They act resistant against high temperature from melting and are not affected by de-icing materials.

Disadvantages of Bituminous Pavement

  1. Bituminous pavements are less durable
  2. Low tensile strength compared to concrete pavement
  3. Extreme weather and improper weather conditions tend to make bituminous pavement slick and soft.
  4. Bitumen with impurities can cause pollution to soil, hence ground water by their melting. These may have hydrocarbons in small amounts.
  5. Clogging of pores and drainage path during construction and service life
  6. More salting- to prevent snow during winter season
  7. Cost of construction high during extreme conditions of temperature

Source - enggfeed

September 29, 2016

Global Bitumen Market

The global bitumen market is forecast to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of four percent between 2015 to 2020, and the world’s largest energy traders such as the Vitol Group and the Trafigura Group Pte. are in a race to increase their market share.

The bitumen market was valued at around $75 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $94 billion in 2020, according to a report by Zion Research, titled, “Bitumen (Paving Bitumen, Oxidized Bitumen, Cutback Bitumen, Bitumen Emulsion, Polymer Modified Bitumen and Others) Market for Roadways, Waterproofing, Adhesives, Insulation and Other Applications - Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2014 – 2020”.

Bitumen is a semi-solid form of petroleum, which is used to make asphalt for roads, waterproofing for roofs, insulation, and adhesives. It is either obtained by distillation of petroleum or is available naturally, such as in Canada’s oil sands.

Bitumen is used mainly in road manufacturing. A surge in road construction activity in Asia will propel growth for the product going forward. 75 percent of the global consumption of bitumen was used for road construction in 2014.

Waterproofing of roofing and building construction was the second major consumer of bitumen in 2014. Increased construction of homes to cater for the growing population is likely to add to the bitumen demand in the future.

Along with roofing, polymer modified bitumen (PMB), which is used as a chemical additive and adhesive, will witness rapid growth compared to other forms of bitumen.

Trucks, trains, and barges have been used traditionally to transport bitumen from refineries to local consumers; however, a drop in supply from the aging refineries in the U.S. and Europe has necessitated the use of oceangoing tankers, to supply the material from its source of production to the end consumer.

Vitol, the largest independent oil-trading house teamed up with U.S.-based Sargeant Marine Inc., which distributes asphalt to customers worldwide to form Valt, which operates the world’s largest dedicated asphalt fleet, handling parcel sizes from 20 metric tons up to 37,000 metric tons through its fleet of fourteen specialist vessels, according to its website.

“It used to be mostly a small distribution business,” Chris Bake, a senior executive at Rotterdam-based Vitol, said in an interview. “Now it is more of a whole arbitrage business requiring a global reach and shipping capacity,” reports Bloomberg.

Trafigura group is also not far behind. Its Singapore-based unit, Puma Energy has added four new bitumen vessels, taking the total number of vessels to 11, which cater to the Asian markets.

“We see a definite upward trend in the number of nautical miles for bitumen,” said Valt Chief Commercial Officer Nick Fay, who estimates an annual increase of about 7 percent. “All the new refineries that are getting built don’t make bitumen,” reports Bloomberg.

The Guvnor Group is planning to invest in the Perth Amboy asphalt refinery and storage facility in New Jersey, which has been shut since 2008, reports Bloomberg.

There is hardly any public information about the bitumen market, which makes it ideal for the large energy traders, who use their energy expertise and global connection to supply to far-off markets.

“There is a perception that the world is going to be more disconnected -- supply and demand-wise -- and we are there to help connect the dots,” Klintholm said.

Nonetheless, increased use of asphalt for roads and environmental concerns with bitumen manufacturing could pose a risk for the growth of the bitumen industry in the future.

By Rakesh Upadhyay for

November 21, 2015

Extract Bitumen from Oil Sands and do the Transition also as it is still dirty..

U.S. President Barack Obama says it's "not contradictory" for Canada to continue extracting bitumen from Alberta's oilsands while also working as a global partner in transitioning away from fossil fuels.

"My view has been that we have to transition," Obama said during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila.

"That transition does not happen overnight."

"Both of us are large oil and gas producers and that's an important part of our economy," Obama continued.

"We make no apologies for that but I also think that we have to recognize that if we want to preserve this planet for our kids and our grandkids, then we're going to have to shift increasingly away from carbon-emitting energy sources."

U.S. President Barack Obama addressed Alberta's oil sands during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila on Nov. 19, 2015. (CBC)

Trudeau, for his part, said Canada had earned an international reputation for not taking climate change seriously and that's something he intends to change.

"We understand as a government that there is no longer a choice to be made between what's good for the environment or what's good for the economy," Trudeau said. "They go together in the 21st century."

The prime minister said one of his "first tasks" on the issue will be to "reassure Canadians and others that we are serious about meeting reduction targets, about being positive actors on the world stage in the fight against climate change, and demonstrating a future in renewables and smart investments around energy."

Low oil prices 'an opportunity'

The U.S. president also acknowledged the economic woes Alberta is currently facing and noted the reality of oil production and the move toward alternative energy sources will be "dictated by market prices."

"Right now in Alberta, a lot of the issues with respect to how to extract oil does have to do with the fact that oil prices are low and they're going to be low, I suspect, for a while," Obama said. "That actually presents both our countries an opportunity."

Now is the time for energy companies to look seriously at diversifying their business models, the president said, and for consumers to use any savings in their fuel bills to invest in things like solar panels for their homes.

"This is going to be a messy, bumpy process worldwide," Obama said.

"But I am confident that we can get it done and the fact that we now have a very strong partner in Canada to help set up some global rules around how we approach this will be extraordinarily helpful."

source -CBA News

February 6, 2012

Italy's Woes over Iran's Fuel Supply Cut

The European Union (EU) sanctions on imports of petroleum from Iran over the country's peaceful nuclear program can lead to the closure of Italian oil refineries, European oil industry sources say.

"Some Italian refineries are heavily dependent on Iranian crude and need to secure alternative supplies urgently... or they will run into serious difficulties," said Piero de Simone, director of Italy's oil industry organization.

According to analysts, at least five of Italy's oil-refining plants are making losses while the small refiners that rely on Iran's relatively cheap heavy oil to produce asphalt and bitumen are among the most vulnerable.

"This is why I am so angry. These EU sanctions are weakening Mediterranean refiners more than the Iranians," said an executive from a European refiner.

"The US and the UK play the tough guys, but we have to pay the consequences," he added.

On January 23, EU foreign ministers imposed new sanctions on Iran which include a ban on purchasing oil from the country, a freeze on the assets of Iran's Central Bank within the EU, and a ban on the sale of diamonds, gold and other precious metals to Iran.

Earlier on December 31, 2011, US President Barack Obama signed into law new sanctions against the Islamic Republic and announced that the United States would begin penalizing other countries for importing Iranian oil or conducting transactions with the country's central bank.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to impose four rounds of UN Security Council embargos against Iran.

Iran, however, has refuted the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran has every right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.


September 5, 2011

Tar Sands - is it worth a try

Analysis by Cristen Conger

Actress Darryl Hannah and NASA scientist James Hansen are just two of the more than 800 environmental protesters that have been arrested in front of the White House this week.

The crowd has been demonstrating against the proposed Keystone Pipeline XL project, which involves building a 1,700-mile (2,735-kilometer) heavy-oil pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to oil refinement facilities along the Gulf Coast of the United States.

The decision to allow TransCanada Corp. to go through with the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline rests with the U.S. government, and the protesters are hoping to sway President Obama to veto the permit.

Aside from the environmental disruption caused by constructing the underground pipeline, the environmentalists’ opposition to Keystone hinges on the hydrocarbon chemistry of tar sands and how they’re converted into crude oil.

BLOG: Liquid Salt Extracts Oil from Sand

To understand what tar sands are and why they have a slippery reputation with environmentalists, here’s a cheat sheet on these unconventional oil fields:

WHAT: Tar sands, also known as oil sands, are a mixture of roughly 90 percent sand, clay and water and 10 percent bitumen, a thick hydrocarbon liquid. After extracting that 10 percent of bitumen from the tar-sand mixture, the bitumen can be purified and refined into synthetic crude oil.

WHERE: In North America, tar sands are concentrated in the Athabasca Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada. Because of Canada’s vast oil deposits, it's the top supplier of crude oil to the United States. Saudi Arabia is the second-largest supplier.

Tar sands are also found in Venezuela and the Middle East.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would run from the Alberta tar sands down the middle of the United States through Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Oklahoma, all the way to Texas, where it will be refined and converted into gasoline. That's longer than the Trans Alaska Pipeline, which stretches 800 miles. Currently, there are around 55,000 miles of oil pipeline crisscrossing the United States.

HOW: Squeezing oil out of tar sand is an extremely wasteful process: it takes between 2 and 4 tons of tar sand and two to four barrels of water to produce a single barrel of oil. Rather than drilling for oil, enormous shovels carve out open pits in the tar sands, scooping out the greasy interior to be hauled to a processing facility.

There, the tar sand is combined with water to form a slurry, which forces the sand to sink to the bottom of the mixture while the bitumen floats to the top. Once the bitumen is extracted, the run-off is piped into large, stagnant tailing ponds of sand, water, and bitumen impurities.

To make it to the pump, refined bitumen heads to an oil refinery where it’s converted into gasoline. And since bitumen is a highly viscous “heavy” oil that doesn’t flow as easily as lighter crude, it requires more processing to facilitate its flow through the oil pipelines.

Overall, mining tar sands, extracting bitumen and converting it to gasoline releases three times more carbon dioxide than typical oil production. In addition to massive amounts of tar sand needed to extract oil and the carbon emissions generated, the tar sand mining operation takes places in Alberta's boreal forest, a relatively untouched ecosystem prized for its biodiversity. But the habitat destruction has threatened the livelihood of various native species, and the Alberta Water Research Institute is currently spending $15 million to prevent runoff toxins collected in tailing pools from entering nearby water supplies.

WHY: As the price of crude oil has risen and relations with the oil-rich Middle East have deteriorated, tar sands close to American borders have become a more attractive option in the past decade.

Those in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline argue that importing tar sands oil from Canada, a political ally, will move the country toward more energy independence. However, those opposing the pipeline counter that reducing reliance on fossil fuels like tar sands oil is the only long-term path toward energy independence.

HOW MUCH: Tar sands around the world also collectively represent 3 trillion barrels of oil. But a majority of that tar sand bitumen lies too deep in the earth for recovery with today’s mining technology. Nevertheless, Canadian tar sands produce more than 1 million barrels of crude synthetic oil every day.

If completed, the Keystone XL pipeline would allow up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil to flow daily to the Gulf Coast. In June 2011, the U.S. imported just over 2 million barrels of crude oil from Canada every day, followed by 1.1 million barrels from Saudi Arabia and Mexico each.

The U.S. government should reach a decision on the Keystone XL by the end of the year. The U.S. State Department has already issued a report on the pipeline’s potential environmental effects and found “no significant impact on most resources along the proposed pipeline corridor.”

Yet, the report did raise concern about the potential of pipeline leaks in "environmentally sensitive areas," such as the Ogallala Aquifer, a primary freshwater source for the Plains regions.

NASA scientist James Hansen, who was arrested at the Keystone XL protests in front of the White House, commented that if the government approves the project, it's "game over" for curbing climate change.

Meanwhile, in Alberta, enormous dump trucks keep hauling payloads of tar sands to be sifted, sloshed and siphoned, eventually, into our gas tanks.


August 18, 2011

Fake Bitumen- Beware

HJC leader booked for spurious bitumen

Deepender Deswal, TNN Aug 12, 2011, 06.39am IST
PANIPAT: A unit owned by the Panipat district president of the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) has been found allegedly involved in the manufacturing of spurious bitumen which has been unearthed at the outskirts of Kotpur and Alipura villages located on the borders of the Panipat and Karnal districts.
The police registered a case of fraud against the HJC district president Sanjay Kadian along with five other unit owners identified as Kishori Lal, Ishwar Saini, Krishan Kumar and Subhash Goyal.
The police already arrested a truck driver after raiding five factories in the region. According to the police, the fake bitumen manufacturing units included, ABS Aspatric, Shiva Tar, Jai Ambe Tar and Satyam Tar products.
Source -

March 23, 2011

Bitumen Still Cost Effective than Cement

Bitumen or Cement for the Roads ?

Most of the 48 new projects announced in the Budget for 2003-04 were to be executed by private players, and a third of these were to be cemented.Bitumen roads cost about half of cement roads, and the average 15-20 year concession period for private projects does not justify financial viability of cemented carriageways, say analysts.

“The use of cement is not likely to gain favour with the private players because of the steep initial costs and despite the long-lasting quality of cement roads. The benefit to a road contractor typically starts flowing in after 7-10 years for a bitumen road while break-even takes much longer for cement roads,” said a representative from a private construction company.

“The use of cement will entail a two-fold increase in the costs over bitumen. While savings in the use of cement will come over a longer time of 50 years, the concession period for a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project spans a maximum of 20 years, thereby making it unviable for operators to execute cement roads,” an expert said.

The use of bitumen entails less than 5 per cent of the capital cost initially and would involve around 15 per cent of costs for overlays during a 20 year period. Even if the government makes use of cement the higher costs would have to be absorbed, they said.

Another reason why the new set of road projects could run into trouble is because there are limited number of players in the market and they would focus on the second phase of the ongoing national Highways Development Project (NHDP) works.
While officials contend that most of the 48 new projects would be executed using the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model and the successful annuity scheme, which has been used in the first phase of the NHDP.

Apart from a few World Bank-funded NHDP sections on NH-2, not many cement sections are part of the first phase of the Rs 58,000 crore project. Nearly all the BOT and annuity sections in the first phase of the NHDP have been implemented using bitumen.

Out of the 48 projects, to be executed at a cost of Rs 40,000 crore, the Centre had so far identified 25 odd projects while the remaining are still to be identified.
A majority of these projects involve connectivity of the highway sections upgraded under the NHDP with major commercial and residential hubs lying in close proximity to these sections, government officials said.

The argument used by the Centre justifying the move to use more of cement is that this would provide a boost to the domestic cement industry and that cement roads would be more viable in the long run because of the longevity of concrete roads.
The use of cement would also reduce the country’s oil import bills as bitumen is a by-product of the oil industry, the prices of which has been on the rise because of high crude prices, ministry officials maintain.

>Analysts, however contend there are many technical factors which favour use of bitumen for highways.

Cement roads require a good amount of preparation of the sub-base before concrete is laid while bitumen roads adjust to the weight of the vehicles.

“Laying of concrete roads requires a great deal of expertise and risks are significantly higher in case of cement as compared to when bitumen is used and improper laying of cement roads could result in cracking up of sections as witnessed on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway,” they said.

Source & Courtesy- The Business Times.

September 22, 2010

Bitumen Plant

Saratov region-based firm RBP intends to invest $48.6m building a plant to produce bitumen and polymer roofing and water-proof materials and mastic in Saratov region, news agency RIA Novosti reports.

The plant is reportedly to be located on a 6.8-hectare land site near the village of Dubki outside the city of Saratov.

The plant is scheduled to be put into commission in Summer 2011.

Source -

March 10, 2010

Material or Workmanship?

Excitement over maintenance work on Owairaka's ring road is turning sour for one mountain user.

Auckland city councillor Cathy Casey says about six of the road's worst potholes were fixed, but within two days the bitumen had lifted.

The Mt Albert resident says she is curious to know what the criteria is for filling potholes on the "unsafe road".

"It's the worst feature on the mountain. It looked to me to be a very random allocation of fill.

"One pothole was filled, another not," she says.

"Is it bad workmanship or bad materials? What is the criteria for doing a job?

"This is what gives the council the reputation that we don't care about our maunga."

Council's park services manager Mark Bowater says because the extent of repair work was minor, the contractor used cold mix asphalt that unfortunately failed in two of the potholes.

He says although that has not happened in previous repairs, any additional pothole repair will now use hot asphalt.

"Sections of the Owairaka Domain ring road are deteriorating in condition, and are currently being planned and prioritised for more extensive replacement within the next two years," he says.

Council officers will report back to the council in April about whether it is feasible to allocate an $8 million budget for volcanic cone protection.

Currently $2.1m is budgeted for Maungawhau Mt Eden's development while the remaining 22 volcanic cones get $457,000.

The budget has also received attention from local iwi who recently signed an agreement that would give them ownership and co-management of natural features with Auckland's new council.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei trustee Ngarimu Blair says the current allocation reflects an imbalance between what is promised and what is spent.

"It is extremely worrying. We may be left with very little budget to do much. The remains of pa on the maunga are as important as Inca ruins or Stonehenge."

Mayor John Banks met locals last Saturday at Owairaka to get a better understanding of the problems.


January 12, 2010

Quality issues of Bitumen

MASUNGA - Residents of Masunga, Mosojane and Mapoka in the North East District have expressed concern about poor standard of roads that run through their villages.

They raised this concern during a series of kgotla meetings addressed by area MP Mr Charles Tibone last week.

Residents said the Sebina-Ramokgwebana loop road is far below standards especially that it leads to the district headquarters - Masunga.

They said the 80-kilometre stretch from Shashe River in Sebina that join the Francistown-Ramokgwebana road is single laned with damaged shoulders.

The other road that residents complained about is Tshesebe-Mosojane-Masunga road which they said has long been overdue for upgrading to bitumen standard.

They reasoned that it should be given priority as it is the shortest route from Francistown to Masunga at 80 kilometres while other roads are well over 100 kilometres.

They told their MP that the state of roads contribute to the slow pace of development in their district as they scare away potential investors and cause rural-urban migration among the able bodied youth who have high potential of developing the district.

In response, Mr Tibone, explained that construction of the Sebina-Ramokgwebana road has been affected by the recent economic downturn.

He said the road had gone though all the stages of feasibility study, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), design and consultation stage.

MP Tibone said construction documents were about to be submitted to the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Board (PPADB) for the tendering process to begin when the country was hit by the credit crunch, adding however that the project is still reflected in the National Development Plan 10.

He however called on residents to exercise patient as the world is currently recovering from recession. He promised them that the project would take off once the NDP 10 implementation stage starts.

On the construction of Tshesebe-Mosojane-Masunga road, MP Tibone said the money that was allocated for the road was ultimately used to construct some access roads in Mabudzane and Jackalas II.

He however promised to make inquiries on the issue and work on rectifying the mistake. BOPA


September 30, 2009

Recyling Roads with lesser bitumen

The Delhi government is finally beginning road resurfacing in the Capital. For the first time, the PWD will be using new techniques it had been experimenting with in the past.

The re-carpeting process started on Tuesday on Ring Road, close to Hyatt Regency in South Delhi. The 293 lane-km of road will be surfaced using hot in-situ recycling.

The project will cost Rs 37 crore. In this technology, around 70 per cent material available in the road is used and only about 30 per cent material is added. The advantage of using this technique is that the thickness of the road surface is raised only by 10 to 15 mm.

According to the PWD, the life of such roads is five to seven years. This technique was used on an experimental basis on the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road two years ago.

The PWD had started experimenting on new road building technologies after 1997 when the Supreme Court banned hot mix plants inside Delhi. With bitumen supply reduced, the PWD had been looking for alternate options.


September 7, 2009

Plastic Roads ahead

A chemistry professor from Tamil Nadu has discovered that a marriage of convenience between hot bitumen and molten plastic waste could be the way towards what Lalu Prasad had once dreamt for Bihar’s roads.

R. Vasudevan’s finding, which promises to solve the twin problems of battered roads and plastic waste, has received official recognition, with the Union rural development ministry issuing guidelines for laying rural roads using plastic waste.

Civic bodies in Tamil Nadu and the state’s highway department have already laid more than 750km of plastic roads and are adding more based on the process developed by Vasudevan, head of chemistry at Thiagaraja Engineering College, Madurai.

“It’s a simple procedure where plastic waste is mixed with hot bitumen before it is laid. Since plastic waste like cups, carry bags, etc, are heated only up to 170°C, they form a molten paste and get mixed with the bitumen,” said Vasudevan, who has given the patent of the process to the college.

He added: “Since the waste is not incinerated, which happens at 690°C, no toxic gases are released. As only non-chloride polymer waste is used, chlorine seepage into the ground is also avoided.”

Adding plastic reinforces a road in three ways. It increases the road’s load-bearing capacity, makes it more resistant to heat especially during summers, and prevents rainwater from seeping down. The third factor ensures durability, since water is the main enemy of bitumen-based roads.

“The life of the road will be prolonged three to four times provided there are no cuts and patchwork after it is laid,” Vasudevan said.

Performance studies on the roads built with plastic waste in Tamil Nadu indicate “satisfactory performance with good skid resistance, good texture value, stronger and less amount of progressive unevenness over a period of time”, say the guidelines issued by the National Rural Roads Development Agency, an arm of the Union rural development ministry.

The ministry recommends the use of polyfilms with thickness up to 60 microns, hard and soft foams and laminated polymer with thickness up to 60 microns. However, polyvinyl chloride sheets (flex sheets) should not be used. The process of coating the aggregate (tar and granite mixture) with molten (waste) plastic does not require machinery.

Modifying bitumen with shredded plastic waste raises the cost by Rs 2,500 per tonne, but this is offset by the need for less bitumen, better performance and environmental conservation, the guidelines say. They even ask local bodies to contact Vasudevan (0452-2482240) for further advice.

Vasudevan said the local bodies could initially source the plastic waste from their own dumps, since a 10x10-metre road needs just 1.7kg of plastic. Two lakh tonnes of plastic items are sold every month in Tamil Nadu alone, of which 40 per cent is recycled and 10 per cent gets into garbage.
Source- The Telegraph

September 2, 2009

Bahrain to build Bitumen Plant in Oman

Bahrain's Mashael Group will build a 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) bitumen refinery in Oman that is planned to be completed in 2012, a project official said on Tuesday.

'The agreement has been signed by Mashael and the government to build the refinery at a cost of $200 million in the Sohar Industrial Port Company (SIPC) area,' a SIPC project official told Reuters.

'Mashael will own the refinery but the land has been leased to them by SIPC for the purpose,' he added.

Bitumen or asphalt, which is produced by straight run vacuum distillation, sits at the bottom of the barrel of most crudes. The product is then put through further processing to produce market grade bitumen.

SIPC is a 50-50 joint venture between the Government of Oman and the Port of Rotterdam.

Oman is developing SIPC as a free trade zone to attract foreign investments and is home to major projects including a methanol plant, a fertiliser company, an iron pellet plant, a port and an oil refinery.-Reuters

Source -

September 1, 2009

Petro China's another Petro Industry Buy

PetroChina International Investment Company Ltd. (PTR-N109.75-3.44-3.04%) will buy a 60 per cent stake in privately-owned oil sands firm Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. in a deal that oil patch insiders see as a key vote of confidence in Alberta's massive bitumen reserves.

The $1.9-billion deal will give PetroChina a large stake in a company whose assets contain about five-billion barrels of bitumen.

“Oil sands projects are very capital-intensive long-term investments and difficult to fully finance in the traditional equity market,” Athabasca chairman Bill Gallacher said in a release. Athabasca “therefore decided to look for joint venture partners, and these strategic joint venture arrangements with PetroChina, one of the world's largest energy companies, can ensure that the MacKay River and Dover projects will be developed in timely manner, which is excellent news for Alberta and the rest of Canada.”

Rumours of the impending deal pushed up shares in several small junior oil sands companies, including UTS Energy Corp. (UTS-T1.790.1710.49%) and Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. (CLL-T1.00----%) , on a belief that major outside investment interests are once again prepared to invest in the oil sands.

“It's great news for the oil sands business. It shows that there are still large, sophisticated, deep-pocketed companies out there prepared to write big cheques,” said one Calgary banker.

Athabasca calls itself the largest leaseholder in the Athabasca region of the oil sands, with 526,000 hectares of net land.

Sveinung Svarte, the president and chief executive of Athabasca, was not immediately available Monday morning. However, in an interview this May, he said the company had spent months searching for joint venture partners.

“That has always been our philosophy to finance our projects,” he said then. “We are talking about quite a few billion dollars [in] long-term [capital requirements], and to have a partner coming in and finance a large part of that has been our model.”

At the time, he said even with low oil prices, large oil sands properties continued to attract “a lot of interest.”

“Even in this market. I would say maybe even more in this market, because I think the buyers have recognized that it's easy to make a deal today,” he said. “Because the sellers are a bit more, what shall I say, they expect a bit less than with the price at $147 oil.”

Chinese interest have taken an increasingly large stake in the oil sands. China National Petroleum Corp. made a $449-million deal for Verenex Energy Inc. in February – although that deal has had troubles proceeding thanks to difficulties in acquiring permission from authorities in Libya, where Verenex has the bulk of its holdings. And late last year, Sinopec paid about $2-billion for another Calgary company, Tanganyika Oil, which has production-sharing agreements in Syria.

The Athabasca deal shows “that major international companies are game to put up big dough for Canadian oil sands projects.

“So I'm sure people are looking at that and saying another potentially ready-to-go project is obviously Fort Hills,” said another Calgary investment source. “So UTS could be a beneficiary of that.”

UTS holds a 20 per cent stake in the proposed Fort Hills oil sands mine, which is majority owned by Suncor Energy Inc. after its acquisition of Petro-Canada. UTS rebuffed a bid by French energy giant Total S.A. to buy that share earlier this year.

Athabasca made an application last year to build two pilot oil sands projects that will use technology known as “steam-assisted gravity drainage” to exploit the crude on its lands. Unlike oil sands mines, SAGD operators use underground injections of high-pressure steam to coax the thick bitumen to the surface.

The company plans to apply for its first commercial project, a 150,000 barrel-per-day development in MacKay River, near the end of this year. It expects to begin production of a first, 35,000 barrel-per-day, phase in 2014.
source -

In the name of Bitumen

In the name of Bitumen

By the end of April 2009, a trader tried to penetrate 35 oil tankers carrying Bitumen where al-Tiwal customs administration refused to give him the permission to enter these oil tankers to the country for exporting the shipment under the name of Bitumen. When customs authority examine the shipment and found it was dangerous, the trader asked for the permission to enter these oil tankers to al-Saleef Port to be exported via this port to the country of origin. The customs agreed upon his request but till now the oil tankers still laying at the port and have not exported yet. Now the trader is demanding concerned authorities to help him get it into the country as mazot.

At the same time, SNACC took some samples from four oil tankers laying at Haradh customs department and others taken from Bajel cement factory in addition to samples taken from two oil tankers belonging to another dealer during their unloading their shipment at Bajel cement factory's tanks. All the results of the examined samples showed that they were not fit the international specifications of mazot wither in its intensity or high concentration of sulfur substances internationally approved for industrial use.

On these bases, the authority has made a number of measures, the most significant one is informing Prime Minister on dangers of entering any unexamined shipment of oil derivatives. The authority also addressed the customs authority to re-export the 35 tankers stopped in al-Saleef port and committing the trader to return them to Saudi Arabia and reporting to the SNACC on that.

August 19, 2009

Bitumen Theft Exposed

RESIDENTS of Kyotera in Rakai district were on Friday surprised when the Police invaded the LC3 chairman’s residence to search for suspected stolen property.

Three Police officers had earlier been instructed by Rakai district Police commander Juma Okungo to guard Charles Lugumya’s home to prevent any movement of property.

Residents told Police that he had hidden drums of bitumen, cement and other items supposed to be used in the construction of Mutukula road in his house.

Town council driver Hamidu Matovu, store keeper Justine Nakafeero and three law enforcement officers, John Kawooya, Yusuf Masembe and Mukasa Kizito were arrested in connection with the theft.

The Police, led by Okungo and Rakai Criminal Investigation Department chief Patrick Awori, searched Lugumya’s house, but did not find any of the materials.

Seventeen empty drums of bitumen were found in the town council store.

The Police also recovered timber, buckets, and 16 empty drums from Matovu’s house.

Matovu told the Police that he was following Lugumya’s instructions.

Lugumya said: “We had about 115 empty drums of bitumen but most were stolen. We had to safeguard the remaining ones,that is why I asked the driver to take them to his home.”

He blamed the road’s site manager and assistant engineer for failing to ensure the safety of the empty drums.

August 8, 2009

Petrobank on new Bitumen Extraction Proces

Petrobank Energy and Resources looks a bit like an oil and gas holding company. It controls a few oil sands leases and is working on a new bitumen extraction process; it controls 67% of Petrominerales, which operates in Columbia and Peru; and it will soon own 64% of PetroBakken Energy, assuming its merger with TriStar Oil and Gas works out.

But its conglomerate status will not be around forever.

Petrobank plans to chip in its Saskatchewan Bakken holdings as part of the deal to create PetroBakken, which is why it will end up 64% of the new entity. It will receive a tidy dividend of 96 cents per share a year, but John Wright, Petrobank’s chief executive, expects that to change.
Petrobank, he said, will hand over its stake to shareholders. And when it does, it will be quick and clean.

August 6, 2009

Bitumen Enscapulation roofing Membrae

Leading building products and composites manufacturer Johns Manville has formed a new company called JM E3 to integrate Energy Conversion Devices laminate technology into bitumen roofing membrane systems.

ECD is a manufacturer of thin-film amorphous silicon-based photovoltaic (PV) laminates for new sustainable roofing composites. Its Uni-solar laminates are lightweight, non-intrusive and easy to install compared to heavy and fragile glass-based solar panels. The company says they provide a solid return on investment through a low installation cost and low cost-per-kilowatt-hour of energy produced. ECD currently has the capacity to produce 18 miles of the laminate daily,equating to annual power generation capacity of 178MW