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

July 11, 2017

ONLY 10 percent of the surfaced (tarred) national road network is in good condition, with 30 percent in poor condition while 57 percent is in fair condition, a senior Government official has said.

About 3 percent of the road network has been unclassified, 1 percent of gravel and earth roads were certified to be in good condition, 22 percent was in fair condition, 72 percent was said to be in poor condition while five percent was unclassified at this stage.

In response to this situation, Government has initiated a number of road rehabilitation projects, including building new ones. Some of the road rehabilitation projects initiated through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development include. . .

Tenders will be awarded on a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis for the Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls, Harare-Nyamapanda and Rutenga-Boli-Sango roads before the end of this year.

Currently, feasibility studies and detailed engineering designs are underway for the Beitbridge-Bulawayo road and should be completed by August this year, after which tenders will be floated.

Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Jorum Gumbo said Government had made significant investment into the road network and more funds would be channelled towards infrastructure. The minister said about $300 million had so far been channelled into infrastructure development, including road rehabilitation.

"Some $13,28 million was spent on rehabilitation and maintenance of road infrastructure in 2015 and $11,44 million in 2016. At the same time, rehabilitation of the Plumtree-Mutare road was done from 2012 to 2016 at a cost of $206 million," said Dr Gumbo.

"In the aviation sector, the major investment has been upgrading of Victoria Falls Airport in the last three years to December 2016, at a cost of about $150 million. There was also some money spent on rehabilitation of the runway at Harare International Airport," he said.


All the road works were funded by the Zimbabwe National Road Authority and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

"There has been no private financing of transport infrastructure development since the New Limpopo Bridge in 1994 and Beitbridge-Bulawayo Railway (BBR) in 1998.

"The Plumtree-Mutare project was financed through a loan obtained by ZINARA from DBSA (of South Africa). Victoria Falls Airport was financed by a loan to Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe from China," said Dr Gumbo.

Minister Gumbo said the National Railways of Zimbabwe also carried out some rehabilitation work on the national railway network.

The condition of the country's road network had deteriorated since the last condition survey in 2010. At that time, 20 percent of the national road network was assessed to be in good condition, 30 percent in fair condition and 50 percent in poor condition. Ongoing road projects include the dualisation of Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway, including the Harare Ring Road.

"The construction team has started arriving from China, and construction is expected to start in September this year," he said.

"We are also going to construct Phase 2 of the Harare International Airport Road. The late commencement has been due to delays in carrying out the required feasibility study. Again this will be done and project implementation will commence before the end of the year." the Minister added.

More funds, especially foreign direct investment, could have been channelled towards road projects, among other infrastructure development projects, but lack of appropriate and adequate legislation governing Public Private Partnerships was a hindrance.

"However, we now have the Joint Venture Act, and we trust that from now on we will be able to attract significant levels of FDI in transport infrastructure development," the Minister added.

Source - Bulawayo

June 29, 2017

£165m roads project facing legal challenge


A long-awaited £165m roads project for Belfast is now facing a legal challenge, it has emerged.

Around eight years after it was first announced, cash was finally earmarked for the York Street Interchange development as part of the DUP's £1bn deal with the Tories.

But now, a legal challenge, which has been confirmed by the Department for Infrastructure, over the awarding of the main construction contract, could delay the scheme further.

DUP Tory deal new £1bn allocation breakdown - where will the money go in Northern Ireland?

The Department has said that “the tender process to appoint a contractor to bring the scheme to a construction ready stage has now been completed... however, tender award cannot occur at present due to a legal challenge. The legal process is ongoing.”

The interchange is intended to solve the Belfast's increasing traffic problems.

It aimed to transform traffic flow where the Westlink, M2 and M3 converge.

The bulk of the cash needed to build it, around 40%, was originally due to come from the EU.

The upgrade of the York Street Interchange aims to tackle the traffic gridlock which occurs daily.

As Northern Ireland's busiest junction, it carries 100,000 vehicles daily, mostly commuters to and from Belfast from around Co Antrim.

It was revealed this week that part of a £1bn fiscal package for Northern Ireland as part of the DUP deal with the Conservatives, will include £400m for infrastructure. And as part of that, money will be freed up for the York Street Interchange.

At the end of last year, former Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard accepted a recommendation from a public inquiry that the York Street Interchange scheme should progress in principle but reiterated warnings that Brexit had placed a question mark over funding.

Speaking about the project, Wesley Johnston, an expert on Northern Ireland's roads, has said that commuters can still expect delays at the York Street interchange even after work has been completed.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

October 10, 2016

TOT or Advance Selling of Human Traffic Loads ?

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is preparing to start the process of monetizing toll-based operational road assets under the toll, operate and transfer (TOT) model, aimed to bring new investments to the highways sector.

“We have not as yet floated tenders to monetize road assets, but are preparing to do so. We expect to begin doing this in 2-3 months’ time under the TOT model,” NHAI chairman Raghav Chandra said in an email response to queries from Mint.

This will be India’s first exercise in auctioning NHAI’s operational projects after a cabinet clearance in August. The proceeds will fund new highway projects under various models.

NHAI is currently working on the guidelines for TOT, under which the investor will collect tolls and be responsible for operation and maintenance of the project. The TOT model will be essential to attract long-term foreign investment, financial investors and investment bankers told Mint.

NHAI can lease up to 75 national highway projects which are fetching tolls for at least two years to various entities on the TOT model. The overall annual toll collected from these projects is about Rs2,700 crore, against which NHAI can expect to raise Rs25,000-30,000 crore by granting 30-year concessions, said Ashish Agarwal, director (infrastructure) at investment bank Equirus Capital.

The TOT model is long overdue, said Gautam Bhandari, partner at I Squared Capital, a US-based investor in road projects. “We are hopeful that NHAI finally does launch its TOT programme so that it can serve as a model for other sectors as well. As a global investor, we believe that NHAI’s TOT model, if executed properly, could be a win-win for everyone. Proceeds from TOT auctions will free up valuable taxpayer capital that can then be recycled for much-needed new infrastructure projects,” he said.

I Squared is looking to invest as much as $1 billion in Indian infrastructure. It has invested more than Rs1,000 crore through its investment platform Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte. Ltd in three road projects so far.

IDFC Alternatives, which has bought controlling stakes in operational road projects, is waiting to see the fine print. “The good part is that in the TOT model, there are far less variables and concerns to be addressed as compared to projects with embedded construction risks. The differences in the bids here would be more a function of how differently each investor views the traffic growth rates, maintenance costs, synergies with other projects in one’s portfolio, if any,” said Aditya Aggarwal, partner (infrastructure), IDFC Alternatives.

There is significant interest from international infrastructure funds in the Indian road sector, said Rahul Mody, managing director, Ambit Corporate Finance Pvt. Ltd. “The TOT model is an excellent idea. The model takes away two key risks in the road sector—delays or cost overruns and initial traffic discovery—as the assets that will be offered under this (model) will be operational with some tolling history; hence it should attract considerable interest from Indian companies as well as foreign investors,” Mody said.

“The model can be an avenue for NHAI to raise upfront capital to fund the EPC and HAM projects; opportunity to feed the increasing number of pension funds and infrastructure investors having access to low cost capital and further deepen the infrastructure market; and allowing players to choose better the nature of risk-reward play they want to play in the road sector,” Agarwal said.

Source- LiveMint

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 Oilprice.com

August 29, 2016

Asphalt Recycling

Asphalt plant manufacturers agree that recycled asphalt is a valuable resource that is too good to waste - Mike Woof writes

Around the globe there is growing interest in the use of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP). The technology to utilise RAP in asphalt mixes has been available for some time, with a range of asphalt plant manufacturers in the US and Europe having developed a number of solutions. However, take-up of this technology has varied, with the US pushing ahead with the use of RAP while progress has been much slower in Europe. But many European countries are now becoming more aware of the need to lower the reliance on new aggregates through the use of RAP. And other markets, too, are seeing greater interest in the use of RAP, with the Chinese authorities, for example, having set requirements for this material to be used in road building.

Using RAP can lead to substantial savings in both production costs and indirect CO2 emissions. A paper by Ammann’s commercial manager, Peter Maurer, highlights the fact that RAP is not a waste material but one that can be re-used efficiently. This is a key issue that all the specialists building equipment for the asphalt sector, such as Astec, Benninghoven, Günter Papenburg, Intrame, Lintec and Marini, will agree with Ammann upon.

Both the aggregates and bitumen contained in RAP can meet the standards allowing re-use. Adding some quantities of new aggregates and bitumen can ensure that quality is maintained.

Clearly, the use of recycled asphalt pavemen (RAP) will only increase across the globe, with asphalt plant manufacturers having already developed ingenious solutions to make best use of this material.

Maurer’s paper details a number of fundamental points for the use of large quantities of RAP in an asphalt plant, which all of the key suppliers in the market segment would agree with. First, legislation must allow the use of RAP in asphalt mixes. Second, there must be a sufficient supply of the material available to a user to make the investment in the extra equipment needed worthwhile. Assuming that the material can be used and is available, the asphalt plant owner then has to provide separate storage facilities for different grades of RAP being received. Careful monitoring of the RAP supply has to be carried out, with laboratory-based testing to assess the quality. And the higher the percentage of RAP being used in the mix, the greater the importance of assuring the quality of the RAP feed.

Marzio Ferrini, head of product marketing at Marini, emphasised that determining the quality of the RAP is essential. He said that quality testing of road materials being milled off should be carried out so that the contractor knows exactly what grade is being recovered. He said, “You need to know the source of the RAP.”

Ferrini added that weather protection is also important for the RAP storage area, as this helps to reduce the moisture levels in the material, lowering the quantities of fuel used for heating the plant. This is a technical point on which Marini’s rivals are in broad agreement.

Batching-type plants are favoured by users in many markets, because of their versatility and adaptability. Modern batching plants are now often constructed in modular form with prewired components, allowing faster commissioning onsite while they can also be set up to handle a wide range of mix specifications. This versatility in construction also helps these plants to use RAP in the mix (although it is worth noting that continuous-type plants can also be configured to handle RAP).

Accurate weighing of the RAP entering the mixer is necessary to ensure that the correct quantities of materials are used, a point on which Benninghoven’s sales manager Rainer Böllinger, as well as Ferrini and Maurer all agree. The feed conveyor systems can be equipped with load scales on the belt so that the quantities can be monitored continuously.

With regard to the use of cold RAP in the mix, there is considerable discussion too as to how much can be used efficiently, however.

Böllinger said that Benninghoven’s latest granulators play a key role in the production process by breaking up the RAP prior to being used in the feed. Böllinger said, “The granulator is a key factor for high-quality recycling management. You need soft crushing to protect the stone and you remove the fines in the end products. You can increase the percentage of recycled feed in the plant by 5-10%; because you remove the fines efficiently, you don’t destroy the stone and you retain the bitumen.”

The source of the RAP has to be identified and lab testing is crucial to determine the material quality.

According to Böllinger, using the granulator helps recoat the bitumen around the stone and avoids the need for long mixing cycles in the mixer, with a boost to productivity. He said that the material being delivered to the mixer is more homogenous, allowing a conventional mixing cycle of 45 seconds.

Another important feature is the slow feed rate for the RAP into the mixer box, which reduces the quantity of steam being released. Ammann’s and Benninghoven’s burners are controlled by an inverter system, which it claims also helps to boost overall plant efficiency. When the plant has a low level of throughput into the drier drum, the burner reduces the fuel consumption.

Ferrini pointed out that the mix design must be modified to incorporate RAP, while the plant has to have the necessary features to accommodate this. The recipe has to be checked using software, with continual monitoring of all the feed components.

The introduction of the RAP in the feed can generate large quantities of steam from the mixer, so the Marini plants have a special tube that operates under negative pressure as an extractor.

Marini’s approach to allowing a high percentage of RAP into the mix, however, is to use a larger mixer. Because of the heat-exchange process to the cold RAP, the mixing time is typically increased to 50 seconds, compared with the 45 seconds for a conventional mix using virgin materials. Ferrini said, “If you want good quality, you need more time to heat the material and allow the bitumen to cover the stone.”

He said that a batching plant using fresh aggregates and with an output of 240tonnes/hour will typically have a 5tonne mixer and a mixing time of 45 seconds for each batch. But when cold RAP is used in the mix, extra time is required for the heat-transfer process so that the mixing time will be increased to 50 seconds, so to ensure the output remains the same at 240tonnes/hour, the mixer capacity has to be increased to 6tonnes. “The bigger batch compensates for the longer time,” he said. “The more cold RAP you use, the longer the time you need.”

Ferrini said that while higher percentages of cold RAP can be used in theory, this requires a greater energy transfer, and to prevent overheating of the material, even longer times are needed and this will increase fuel consumption significantly. “We can do this but the machine must be specifically designed for it with a big mixer and a big burner and use a very good quality RAP and with a low moisture content.”

Ferrini added that in addition to the technology used for the introduction of cold RAP directly into the mixer, the firm can help increase the percentage of RAP used. This is achieved by adding RAP into the recycling ring on the dryer drum and by combining both technologies, Ferrini said that the Marini plants can reach a recycling rate of up to 60%.

The view from Ammann is broadly in agreement with Marini. And Maurer’s paper on the use of recycled asphalt details how a feed of up to 30% of cold RAP can be fed directly into the mixer. Keeping the moisture of the RAP lower than 2% allows the percentage to go up to 35% or 40%, supported by an intelligent feed of the RAP into the mixer. The paper also highlights how, by using a parallel dryer in parallel flow technology, a feed of up to 60% of hot recycled material can be used in the mix.

However, Maurer points out that Ammann is working on technology to boost the quantity of recycled materials from the current maximum of 60% when using a dried feed, having set a target of 100%. This technology, based on the counter flow drying principle in combination with a hot gas generator, and equipped with some high sophisticated air ducting details, was introduced in 2007 in a wide range of installations. It ensures gentle drying and heating of the RAP, and in some road-construction projects it was possible to use up to 98% of RAP with this technology.

Nowadays, all of the leading manufacturers in the asphalt plant field will be working in this same direction to optimise the use of RAP, although the solutions they eventually deliver may vary significantly.

source- world highways

June 16, 2016

Nepal Spends on Road

The prime Minister, other ministers and influential leaders of the opposition parties have managed to get huge funds allocated to their respective constituencies for the development of minor local roads in order to woo local voters.

As many as 98 minor and local roads that were allocated only Rs 1 million or little more in the budget have now been upgraded into multi-year projects, analysis of information provided to Republica by the National Planning Commission (NPC)  shows.

The Ministry of Finance has decided to allocate Rs 40 billion for initiating multi-year tender processes for these projects. However, the roads in question have not been listed as strategic roads, nor has the economic returns been weighed. Line agencies of the Department of Roads have already started the tender process for several of the projects. 
These huge amounts are on top of the budget allocation of Rs 42.02 billion in the current fiscal year. Minor projects that had been allocated between Rs 1 million to Rs 5 million are now receiving Rs 10 million and above. A few of them are receiving over a billion.

Four minor road projects in Jhapa, the home district of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, have now been converted into multi-year projects and guaranteed funding of about Rs 1 billion. The projects are Lakhanpur-Mangalbare-Mujarphutta-Jyotinagar road, Satamari-Bhalubari road, Charali Kechana ring road and Damak ring road.

Likewise, Biratnagar-Debanganj road in the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) Bijaya Gachchhadar has been upgraded into a multi-year project.

Likewise, Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel has allocated about Rs 3 billion  for similar projects in his  constituency. Belbas-Nuwakot-Dobhan road and Belbash-Bethari road have been turned into multi-year projects. The fiscal year budget had allocated Rs 5 million for the Belbash Bethari road and this sum has now been increased to Rs 1.94 billion.
Swarnim Wagle, senior economist and former member of the NPC, said bringing a road to every voter is not the solution to the lack of efficient road infrastructure in the country. He suggested focusing on good roads over the shortest distances and efficient transportation.

Priority projects in top leaders' constituencies

Three influential leaders from Pyuthan district have used their sway to get minor projects prioritized. Govind Raj Pokharel, former NPC vice chairman, has converted at least two projects into multiyear ones. He was also involved in project selections for the current fiscal year. Track opening and upgrading of Jhimruk ring road and the Hatiyagaun Jabune-Airabati road in Pyuthan have now been prioritized. Likewise, Bamdev Gautam, former home minister and senior leader of the CPN UML, has secured funds for the black-topping of Bhigri-Swargadwari road and the construction of a ring road in Madi Model Municipality.

Rekha Sharma, lawmaker of the CPN (Maoist Center) and minister for general administration, has gotten four roads, also in Pyuthan, converted into multi-year contracts. Cherneta-Salghari-Sari-Dandagau road, Badadanda-Kaskot-Hansapur-Airawati road, and Okharkot-Machchhi-Tanda Pokhari road are among the four.
Balkrishna Khand, influential leader of the Nepali Congress from Rupandehi district, has secured a few multi-year road projects also. Bauddha Paripath-Ramgram-Panditpur-Jyamire road, Harkatawa road and Murgiya- Suryapura-Lumbini road in Rupandehi, and two other minor roads in the Lumbini area were recommended by Khand for such conversion. Similarly, senior UML leaders Janardan Dhakal, Surendra Pandey, Parbat Gurung, Rajendra Pandey, Lal Bahadur Rawal, Yagyaraj Sunuwar, Deepak Karki, and Janardan Sharma of CPN (Maoist Center) have also secured projects in their home districts.

Sumitra Amatya, a member of the NPC, told Republica that "projects are being converted as a new experiment for completing projects listed in the budget within three years and averting the continuous financial burden of such small projects over as much as a decade." She further said that conversion into multiyear does not mean the resources are allocated right away as the funds will only be disbursed after the detailed project report (DPR) and environment impact assessment (EIA) are completed.
- See more at: http://www.myrepublica.com/feature-article/story/44377/billions-for-local-roads-in-home-districts-of-bigwigs.html#sthash.Bc81YyAD.dpuf

April 22, 2016

Highway Project Model

Introduced last year by the Union ministry of road transport and highways, acceptance of the hybrid annuity model or HAM for tendering of road projects by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was initially weak. It continues to remain so.

For instance, the first bid under the HAM model, for four-laning of the Solan-Kaithalighat section in Himachal Pradesh, had no takers. The bid terms had to be revised.

Till date, five projects totalling 279 km (Rs 6,700 crore in value) have been awarded. The FY16 target for HAM was set at 1,400 km. Experts, however, say with more than half of NHAI’s project pipeline lined up under HAM and the government having addressed the sector's key concerns, this is likely to pick up.

After the first bid failed, the government addressed some of the key impediments, particularly on forest clearance and land acquisition. Further, HAM, often referred to as a mix of the Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT) and Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) models, addresses the concerns on both.

Under the latter model, a winning contractor builds the road project and hands it over to the government after completing the construction. Under BOT, he builds the project and operates (collects toll, maintains the road) it, handing it over on completion of the concession period.

Primary concerns such as land acquisition, traffic risk and inflation in BOT projects have been adequately addressed in HAM. Further, with NHAI pitching in 40 per cent of the capital, the project equity risk is likely to be lowered to 18 per cent (as against 30 per cent for BOT) of the project cost, resulting in a superior return profile to that under BOT.
Highway contracts: Hybrid annuity projects to gain pace
HAM scores over EPC for the government as well. From 100 per cent cost of capital to be borne by NHAI under EPC, the exposure is reduced to 40 per cent under HAM.

The question is whether companies would opt for HAM in its new avatar. Virendra Mhaiskar, chairman, IRB Infrastructure, terming HAM a deferred EPC payment structure, feels it might not offer good operating margins or a return creation opportunity vis-a-vis the current BOT model that his company prefers. “Just to wet our feet and find out how really the process happens, we (IRB) might participate in a few bids under HAM but for now, we are not looking at it in a big way,” he said.

Experts say the approach on HAM will depend on a company's stance and current needs. It would have little to do with any concern over the project or model.

Santosh Yellapu of Angel Broking says, “How companies want to build their order books would determine if they want to bid for HAM projects.” According to him, larger companies such as IRB Infra, Ashoka Buildcon and IL&FS Transportation Networks might not participate in the current round of HAM bids, as their current order book is comfortable. Smaller companies such as MBL Infrastructures, MEP Infrastructure Developers and Welspun Corporation, whose order book is in the process of being strengthened, might have more appetite.

A report by ratings agency ICRA adds that features of the HAM model are expected to elicit a favourable response, especially from large EPC players and some BOT ones. Even so, despite a large part of the concerns being addressed, there are other issues influencing companies. Analysts at Emkay Financial Services point to the large difference between L1 (lowest bid price) and L2 (second lowest price) as signifying that no developer wants to bid aggressively.

Some are more optimistic. Kunal Seth of Prabhudas Lilladher feels the larger entities might be warming up to the idea. Also, with BOT projects unlikely to see any meaningful return for older entities such as Gammon, GMR Infra and HCC, given the strain on their finances, some experts feel the trend of declining bids under the BOT model could go on. As more bids open under the HAM model, it might compel the larger ones to change their operating strategy.

For example, the pipeline for EPC projects, though higher than BOT, is less than half that for HAM. “Instead of bidding for three-four small road projects, a large HAM project might be more rewarding for the bigger players as well,” says Seth.

Source- Business Standard

February 22, 2016

Coastal Road Phase 1

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) is yet to give its final nod for the Rs 12,000-crore coastal road project, but the BMC is gearing up to begin work on it and will be rolling out the work tenders for the first phase in three months. The decision to roll out the work tenders was taken after the peer review report on the first phase.

“The peer review report for phase 1 of the coastal road project is complete and the tenders for the first phase stretching from Priyadarshini Park to Bandra will be out in three months,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Mukherjee. Apart from Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances, the civic body is also awaiting clearances from the Navy as well as the Coast Guard, before actual construction of the coastal road begins.

The current BMC budget has made an allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for the project.
The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) is yet to give its final nod for the Rs 12,000-crore coastal road project, but the BMC is gearing up to begin work on it and will be rolling out the work tenders for the first phase in three months. Apart from Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances, the civic body is also awaiting clearances from the Navy as well as the Coast Guard, before actual construction of the coastal road begins.

The current BMC budget has made an allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for the project. The decision to roll out the work tenders was taken after the peer review report on the first phase. It is a detailed study of the project and covers the shortcomings of the consultant’s report. It was submitted on February 17.

“The peer review report for phase 1 of the coastal road project is complete and the tenders for the first phase stretching from Priyadarshini Park to Bandra will be out in three months,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Mukherjee.

Apart from making recommendations on the number of lanes, the report also includes a data analysis for different times of the day.

Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-work-tenders-for-phase-i-of-coastal-road-in-3-months/

February 18, 2016

Global Bitumen Market @ 72 B and is Growing

ALBANY, New YorkFebruary 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
The global bitumen market will expand at a CAGR of 3.90% from 2014 to 2020. The market was valued atUS$71.44 billion in 2013. It is expected to reach US$93.38 billion by the end of 2020, according to a research report released by Transparency Market Research. The report titled "Global Bitumen Market - Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2020".
According to the research report, the global bitumen market is primarily driven by the growing rate of use in construction of roadways around the world. The report states that there is a rapid increase in the rate of creation of roadways and other related activities, creating a high demand for the global bitumen market. Polymer modified bitumen, a type of bitumen, is highly preferred due to the advantages it provides, such as high porosity, high skid resistance, and low noise. All three properties are the most sought-after ones in the global roadways industry, giving PMB an advantage over other materials.
The global bitumen market's growth rate is, however, restrained to a high degree by the environmental hazards created by the use of bitumen. The report segments the global bitumen market in terms of products and applications, and also provides a geographical dissection. By products, the global bitumen market was dominated by PMB in 2013. The segment held more than 65% of the market for that year and is expected to be the fastest-growing segment for the report's forecast period. PMB is also used for waterproofing purposes.
The report states that more than 80% of the global bitumen market, from the perspective of applications, was dominated by road construction in 2013. Other applications of bitumen arise in automotive, adhesives, paints and enamels, and the roofing industries. From a geographical point of view, the global bitumen market was led by North America in 2013. North America took up over 30% of the global bitumen market in 2013, a market share attributed to expansion of state infrastructure. However, the report states that the fastest growth rate in the global bitumen market for its given forecast period will be held by the Asia Pacific region owing to rapid rate of industrialization.
The key players of the global bitumen market are Villas Austria GmbH, Valero Energy Corporation, Shell Bitumen, Petroleos Mexicanos, Nynas AB, NuStar Energy, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, Marathon Oil Company, Indian Oil Corporation, ExxonMobil, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation ChevronTexaco Corporation, British Petroleum, and Bouygues S.A., The report states that the global bitumen market is highly competitive and fragmented due to the presence of a large number of regional players.
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Key segments of the Global Bitumen Market 
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February 3, 2016

Kuwait's Road Project


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source - TradeArabia News Service

January 16, 2016

Green Bitumen from Canada

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

December 15, 2015

Heavy Crude Spill Study

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source- The Independent

November 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

November 19, 2015

Bitumen Refinery Champion

Chamber recognizes proponents of bitumen refinery project

Bowman Centre lauded as 'Resource Champion'

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

November 9, 2015

Bitumen Bleeds at High temp..


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

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

October 30, 2015

Bitumen Blend Loosing out to Cheaper Crude Oil But Gaining over straight run Fuel Oil


Demand for imported crude, petroleum bitumen blend and straight-run fuel oil by independent teapot refineries in China's eastern Shandong province was more or less steady this week, despite narrowing refining margins on lower local oil product prices.

But teapot refineries that have recently been granted both import quotas and import licenses for crude oil continued to take in crude cargoes, particularly largest Shandong teapot refiner Dongming Petrochemical.

The 7.5 million mt/year (150,000 b/d) Dongming has received a 240,000-mt cargo shipped from the Gulf of Mexico at Rizhao port early this week, adding to imports of 350,000 mt earlier this month. The latest shipment brings the total volume of crude imported under its import quota of 6 million mt/year to 2.84 million mt.

Adding on to the volume received by four other Shandong teapot refineries with import quotas, teapot refineries have imported a total of around 3.74 million mt of crude since end-July, when Dongming took its first cargo.

The four refineries are: Sinochem Hongrun Petrochemical, Kenli Petrochemical, Yatong Petrochemical and Lihuayi Petrochemical -- better known as Lijin.

For November, the 3.5 million mt/year Yatong Petrochemical is taking in a crude cargo much larger -- possibly a VLCC -- than its first import cargo comprising 60,000 mt of Indonesian Duri crude in mid-October, said a source from the refinery. But details, including the crude grade, of its planned November import could not be ascertained.

Meanwhile, the 3.5 million mt/year Lijin Petrochemical, which is scheduled to restart from an ongoing full turnaround in early November, has not fixed any imported crude cargoes for the coming month so far.

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

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

THREE BITUMEN BLEND CARGOES HEARD FIXED FOR NOV SO FAR

Demand for petroleum bitumen blend among Shandong teapot refiners remained thin over the week, with around three cargoes heard so far fixed for November delivery.

This compares with an estimate 530,000 mt of bitumen blend imports, in five cargoes, into Shandong ports in October.

The latest arrival is a 97,000-mt cargo from Malaysia into Rizhao port this week, taken by the 3 million mt/year Yuhuang Petrochemical. The supplier was heard to have resold the cargo to Yuhuang -- which earlier had no plans to buy bitumen blend for October -- after the original buyer decided not to take the cargo.

Still, overall estimated bitumen blend imports in October were lower than September's imports of 1.1 million mt in 12 cargoes.

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

Adding to this, Shandong customs officials have been scrutinizing imports of bitumen blend more closely since end-September in a bid to identify misrepresented fuel oil cargoes. This has led some teapot refineries to suspend their import activities for the time being.

Premiums of November-delivery common grade bitumen blend cargoes are now heard lower, at around $20-$25/mt to the Mean of Platts Singapore 380 CST high sulfur fuel oil assessments on a CFR basis, from MOPS 380 CST HSFO assessments plus $27-$30/mt, CFR, last heard for October cargoes.

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

And in the domestic spot market, bitumen blend prices were heard to have fallen to around Yuan 2,200/mt this week, from Yuan 2,300/mt last week, due to weak buying interest from teapot refiners.

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

ONE M100 FUEL OIL CARGO FIXED FOR NOVEMBER, POSSIBLY TO SHANDONG

On Russian M100 fuel oil, western trader Mercuria was understood to have chartered the Cap Laurent to load 100,000 mt of M100 fuel oil from Russia's Kozmino this week to northern China, possible to Shandong.

And on Thursday, a 90,000-mt combination cargo of M100 and straight-run fuel oil had arrived at Longkou port. Regular M100 importer Hengyuan Petrochemical was heard as the buyer.

M100 fuel oil cargoes for early November delivery were heard talked at premiums of around $50/mt to MOPS 180 CST fuel oil assessments on a CFR basis, steady from last levels heard for October, but down from premiums of $55/mt for September.

Still, teapot refiners see the latest premium levels as too high, sources said.

Meanwhile, eyes are on Russian state-owned Rosneft's upcoming M100 term supply for loading over January-December 2016.

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

--Staff, newsdesk@platts.com
--Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@platts.com
 
 Singapore (Platts)--29 Oct 2015 723 am EDT/1123 GMT
-- Source Link