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

March 1, 2019

Road Delays

Mutorwa concerned over road projects delays

by Sakeus Iikela

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 25, 2019

Namibia's Road Crisis

THE Roads Authority has appealed for an urgent government bailout after complaining that their budget for national road projects this year is short by N$1,3 billion.

Roads Authority (RA) chief executive officer Conrad Lutombi made this appeal in a letter to the transport ministry's executive director, Willem Goeiemann, on Monday.

Even though Lutombi downplayed the crisis by claiming that the state roads agency has secured funding and will start paying as from today, his letter paints a picture of a desperate man.

In the wake of Lutombi's letter, finance minister Calle Schlettwein confirmed that he will hold a crisis meeting today with top government officials to discuss whether the state will pay N$500 million owed to the road construction companies.

Lutombi told Goeiemann that the Roads Authority currently faces a serious problem because of the government's failure to pay road contractors and consultants.

“This dire state of affairs is posting a huge financial and reputational risk to the government and the Roads Authority. All but one Roads Authority contractor have suspended works primarily due to the lack of funds to buy required supplies and construction material needed for the ongoing construction works,” Lutombi explained.

He said the challenge of the lack of funds to pay outstanding invoices could be attributed to the reduced Roads Authority budget.

The Roads Authority initially proposed a N$2,5 billion budget for the 2018/19 financial year to fund the ongoing roads projects.

“However, only an amount of N$1,2 million was made available. This resulted in a shortfall/underfunding of N$1,3 billion,” Lutombi added.

He said to make matters worse, the national budget review in October last year reduced the transport sector's budget by N$344 million, which added pressure on the availability of funds.

“The dire consequences of the continued non-payment of invoices means that both the government and the Roads Authority are in default of contractual obligations,” he stated.

The chief executive said unless all outstanding invoices are fully paid, the government and the Roads Authority are obliged to pay for idle equipment and site fees for no work done until work restarts.

“The current daily compounded losses due to the suspension of work as a result of invoices will translate into millions of dollars, estimated to be ranging between N$15 million and N$30 million per month per project, depending on the size,” he continued.

A senior official involved in the payments talks said some companies had not been paid since September or October last year, forcing some of them to stop work.

CRISIS TALKS

The Roads Authority has been knocking on Schlettwein's door, asking for N$500 million to pay for several roads projects.

A person familiar with this matter said the Roads Authority wanted Schlettwein to approve a plan to borrow N$500 million from Standard Bank to fund the projects.

The loan was supposed to be taken out by the state-owned Road Fund Administration, but the finance minister blocked it, saying there was need for more consultations.

“The matter was brought to me, and I have referred it back for further consultations,” Schlettwein told The Namibian on Wednesday.

“To commit to significant payments that are not funded under the budget needs careful and thorough investigations. That is what I have instructed involved stakeholders to do and come back with comprehensive information,” he said.

Schlettwein said a solution could be found today when he meets officials and parastatal bosses to discuss the outstanding payments.

Today's meeting follows another meeting held at State House, where road parastatal chiefs tried to convince the government's top leadership to pay the companies.

According to Schlettwein, “the minister of finance cannot just be confronted with an invoice from a parastatal [Roads Authority]. Some procedures need to be followed,” he stressed.

Transport ministry officials believe that the road projects could cost as high as N$800 million by the end of next month if the outstanding amounts are not paid since the companies are charging interest on unpaid amounts and standing fees.

“We must avoid unnecessary penalties, but I cannot just commit to paying things that are not budgeted for,” Schlettwein said.

Sources said finance officials fumed about the N$500 million loan proposal, to the extent that one of them allegedly tossed away the documents outlining this plan and shouted: “We did not create this mess” during a recent meeting.

Schlettwein has for years criticised the Roads Authority for committing the government to contracts of more than N$2 billion without following procedures and claiming that they were made a priority by “the highest offices”.

ENGAGING

Lutombi told The Namibian on Tuesday that they are consulting the government to fast-track the payments.

“The RA is not at liberty to reveal the amount of money owed to contractors for work done on the road projects. However, we can confirm that we do have outstanding invoices on some of our projects,” he said.

Lutombi added that the parastatal engaged affected consultants and contractors about the lack of payments.

“I can confirm that we have managed to settle some outstanding invoices on our government-funded capital projects in the past few weeks, for example the Windhoek-Hosea Kutako International Airport road upgrade. Works on this project are progressing well,” he said.

Confidénte reported yesterday that the government owes five companies around N$98 million.

This includes the N$25 million owed to the joint venture between Italian civil construction CMC and Otesa for the Windhoek-Okahandja two-way road, and the N$22 million owed to Unik/Thohi for the Swakopmund-Walvis Bay dual carriageway.

According to the newspaper, Nexus is owed N$28 million for the Isize-Luhonono road in the Zambezi region.

Chinese firm Zhong Mei is allegedly owed N$18,8 million for the ongoing work on the Swakopmund-Henties Bay road.

January 10, 2019

Bitumen Plant for Azerbaijan

the most modern bitumen production plant in the world: socar and pörner commission the new biturox® plant in baku

On December 21, 2018 Azerbaijan´s state energy company SOCAR invited to the festive opening ceremony for the new Biturox® plant in the Heydar Aliyev Refinery outside of Baku’s urban area. EPCM-Engineering Partner Pörner and SOCAR are pleased about a successful commissioning as first part of the refinery reconstruction.
SEE A MOVIE OF THE PLANT HERE
THE BITUROX REACTOR
TANK STORAGE
FILLING STATION FOR 6 TRUCKS
Since the beginning of operation of the existing Biturox® plant at the Aszerneftiag refinery in 1995, the face of Baku has changed dramatically: The capital of Azerbaijan - famous for its unique historical core - is now characterized by modern buildings along the coast of the Caspian Sea, such as the Flame Towers.
The urban development was taken into account and decided to close the old refinery, now located within the city, and in return to expand the northern lying Haydar Aliyev refinery of the national oil company SOCAR to highly efficient oil processing at the latest international standard.
The first subproject of this ambitious project represented the bitumen plant operating with the worldwide proven Biturox® process of the Austrian technology company Pörner. The EPCM contract of Pörner included licensing, pilot testing, basic and detail engineering, supply of main components as well as site supervision, commissioning and start up assistance for the process plant and ancillary plants.
By using the Biturox® process, high-quality bitumen can be produced from the Azerbaijani crude oils by oxidation of refinery feedstock. The further improvement of the national road network of the 86,600 km2 large country is an urgent issue of the government.
On the 21st of December, the opening ceremony of the SOCAR bitumen plant was held by President Ilham Aliyev.
See the official video here.

The new Biturox® plant
Using the latest off-gas treatment system, and designed for an annual capacity of 400,000 tons road paving bitumen grade 40/60, this plant meets the high demand for quality bitumen for the further expansion of the road network of Azerbaijan. It optimizes operating costs for the Heydar Aliyev refinery and significantly improves the ecological situation of Baku region.
The project consists of two areas. The first area includes the Biturox® Plant, where the reactor produces road grade bitumen according to international standards. The second area consists of 6 storage tanks and a loading station with six truck loading points.

Pörner Biturox® Technology a substantial solution for IMO 2020 regulation
The IMO 2020 Regulation reduces the global limit for sulfur in bunker oils from the current 3.5% to 0.5%. So from 2020 refineries will no longer be able to sell their unrefined residues as bunker oils or as marine fuel.
"The Pörner Biturox® technology with high yield and low investment costs is an ideal solution for the expected IMO regulations. With Biturox®, our customers produce the best bitumen qualities from a wide variety of crude oils and use the residues of the distillation economically," says Andreas Pörner, Managing Partner of the Pörner Group.
With more than 50 licensed Biturox® bitumen plants, the Pörner Group is the world leader in bitumen oxidation technology and realizes turnkey bitumen plants, including all infrastructures, from a single source. About 15% of the world's bitumen production comes from Pörner Biturox® plants. In India, the total designated capacity of all eleven Biturox® plants built is equivalent to about 80% of the national annual demand.
Since 1994, the Pörner Group has realized 34 projects in the CIS states, including nine Biturox® plants.

Modernization of the Heydar Aliyev Refinery
The Heydar Aliyev Baku Oil Refinery is located near the capital Baku and is currently undergoing extensive modernization. The annual processing capacity will increase from six million tons to seven and a half million tons. All grades of fuel produced, will comply with Euro 5 standards and are quality feed materials for the Azerkimya downstream plant, such as ethylene, propylene and butylene.
Source- Porner

August 15, 2018

Road Tender Bribes

Israeli tycoon quizzed over Kenya roads tender bribes
A SECTION OF THE MAU-SUMMIT-KERICHO-NYAMASARIA ROAD UNDER CONSTRUCTION WHICH WAS UNDERTAKEN BY AN ISRAEL COMPANY WHOSE OFFICIALS ARE THE SUBJECT OF BRIBERY INQUIRY CLAIMS
A SECTION OF THE MAU-SUMMIT-KERICHO-NYAMASARIA ROAD UNDER CONSTRUCTION WHICH WAS UNDERTAKEN BY AN ISRAEL COMPANY WHOSE OFFICIALS ARE THE SUBJECT OF BRIBERY INQUIRY CLAIMS. FILE PHOTO | NMG  
Israeli police on Sunday questioned Israeli-American billionaire Shari Arison in connection with an ongoing bribery investigation into the country’s largest construction firm, Shikun & Binui, which is alleged to have bribed Kenyan officials to win lucrative road tenders.
In a joint statement on Sunday, the Israeli police and the Israel Securities Authority said their investigation was focusing on suspicions that the company bribed foreign government officials to advance projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Kenya and other countries.
Ms Arison was summoned on Sunday along with another executive of Arison Group, Efrat Peled, by the Israeli police’s anti-corruption unit, Arison Group said in a statement.
“They cooperated fully and are certain there was no flaw in their conduct, and that this will also be the conclusion of the enforcement agencies,” the firm was quoted saying by Reuters.
Investigation into the Tel Aviv-based construction group is expected to also place a section of current and former Kenyan Transport ministry officials on the spot over their involvement in suspected corruption.
Israel police on February 20, opened investigations into the activities of Shikun & Binui’s former senior managers suspected of involvement in the bribery in Kenya.
The firm works in Kenya through its subsidiary Solel Boneh International Holdings (SBI Holdings).
SBI Holdings is the company that Nairobi picked to build the World Bank-funded Mau Summit-Kericho-Kisumu Highway at a cost of Sh14 billion in 2010.
Shikun & Binui said in February that four current and former employees of a foreign subsidiary had been detained for questioning by Israeli police on suspicion of bribery in Kenya and other African nations.
SBI, which is one of the largest contraction firms in Israel, has been bidding for other lucrative construction projects in Kenya.
The probe has turned the heat on those who served at the helm of the Transport and Infrastructure ministry at the time the suspect contracts were awarded.

August 2, 2018

Infrastructure Spending - More the Delay more the Money

Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK
The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), which has starved the construction sector of work for nearly a year, is finally waking up from its slumber — although analysts say it will have little room to manoeuvre for the foreseeable future.
Sanral’s rollout of contracts stalled in 2017 because of disagreements with the Treasury over processes to award consulting service tenders. That led to a major backlog of road projects and has taken its toll on the ailing construction industry.
Basil Read, which has a roads division, is one of several contractors to have succumbed to the generally anaemic state of the industry. The 66-year-old firm was forced into business rescue in June.
Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona told Business Day the roads agency "is contracting again after resolving the issue of design contracts with Treasury".
"We have now resumed the awarding of both design contracts and construction work," Mona said.
AECI CEO Mark Dytor, whose company recently bought materials supplier Much Asphalt, told Business Day last week that Sanral and other roads agencies had started appointing engineers to oversee tender evaluations.
Dytor agreed the Treasury had become more prudent in its cash disbursements and the new government was "clamping down on where the money’s going at the moment".
"But what we are seeing from the likes of Sanral is that contracts are starting to be let out, and I think that bodes well for the last quarter of the year and next year," he said.
"If the country is to grow we have to spend on infrastructure," Dytor said, adding that he expected President Cyril Ramaphosa to prioritise roads and other similar projects.
However, analysts say that while starved construction firms would pounce at tenders, they doubt whether Sanral can afford new roads.
Ample capacity
FNB senior economic analyst Jason Muscat said there was ample capacity in the industry for road projects, since large contractors, including Raubex, were largely weathering the storm.
"But government finances are really not in a position for new builds — at the moment it’s really about keeping everything bandaged up sufficiently to keep going. So I would imagine the bulk of Sanral’s spend is going to go towards maintenance rather than new infrastructure."
Muscat said the state was having to cut back on infrastructure to fund items such as free tertiary education and to provide guarantees for state-owned enterprises.
And if calls within the ANC to scrap e-tolls were taken seriously, Sanral’s woes in the debt capital markets would be compounded.
Muscat said the construction industry as a whole was in a desperate state.
The civil confidence index, which FNB compiles along with the Bureau of Economic Research, fell to 15 points in the second quarter — the fourth-lowest number in the index’s 21-year history.
The average reading over the two decades is 45 points.
The second-quarter reading shows that 85% of respondents did not have confidence in the civil construction sector, partly because competition for the few tenders in the market was becoming even fiercer, and margins were now ultra-thin at best. As many as 90% of respondents said that there was insufficient work, primarily due to the lack of state projects.
Aveng’s share price was closing in on R70 prior to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, but has plummeted to just 8c on Wednesday. Over the same period, Group Five has fallen from close to R60 to 85c and Esor from about R6 to 10c.
Those with bigger international footprints, such as WBHO, have held up better.
Muscat expects more failures in the industry, or at least some consolidation.
He cited German firm Aton’s hostile bid for Murray & Roberts, which in turn has been trying to buy out Aveng.
He said FNB was concerned that following SA’s weak growth in the first quarter and negative high-frequency data in the second quarter, the bank may have to revise its 2018 growth forecasts for the country downwards, from 1.6%.
"We’re concerned that downgrades are soon going to be in the spotlight again, and obviously that’s going to hit Sanral and Eskom bonds … and it’s going to make the cost of financing that debt almost unmanageable, so we’re really up against it at the moment."
Industry Insight economist David Metelerkamp said the release of Sanral projects would be a "good boost" for the construction industry, since road projects account for the bulk of civil construction work — as much as 55% in 2017.
"So this would be a big reprieve for some contractors — in the short run — that are absolutely dying for work."
Most contractors were operating at between 51% and 75% capacity, which meant they had "plenty of resources lying idle waiting for the next job".
However, Metelerkamp said that the country still had too many construction companies compared with other markets, so failures in the current environment were inevitable.
"And even if Sanral are to release a flurry of projects, it still won’t be a big enough reprieve for the overall sector," Metelerkamp said.

June 27, 2018

Kuwait Plans Second Phase for Airport

Ministry pushes tender to build second phase of new airport



KUWAIT: The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) recently contacted the Central Agency for Public Tenders (CAPT) requesting permission to announce offering a tender to build the second phase of the new airport project. The tender includes facility buildings, construction of the road leading to the new terminal and creating parking spaces.
Bidders have 60 days starting from the date in which the tender’s announcement is published in the national gazette ‘Kuwait Al-Youm’ to study the tender, the sources said, adding that a preliminary meeting would be held 21 days after publication. The sources added that 8.4 percent of the new airport project had been completed so far.
In other news, auditory bodies postponed awarding a tender offered by the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) to register and vaccinate animals in Kuwait to one of the applying companies, well-informed sources said. CAPT decided to postpone its final decision until complaints made by of two of the applying bidders were studied and investigated, the sources added. The project aims at vaccinating animals and protecting them against contagious diseases, namely those that can infect humans, the sources explained.
‘Bachelors’ residence
Ahmadi municipality’s engineering follow up department announced disconnecting electric current in 112 houses inhabited by ‘bachelors’ in private residential areas in the governorate. This step was made as part of efforts to address violations in residential areas where owners of government homes rent rooms in their houses to single expatriate men in violation of the law.
Hiring teachers
The Ministry of Education (MOE) contacted the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to receive permission to dispatch committees to interview and hire teachers from Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and Tunisia by the end of the month, assistant undersecretary for public education Fatima Al-Kandary announced. Meanwhile, Kandary added that the supplemental exams were going according to schedule according to the same procedures followed during the finals’ exams. She added that fewer students were sitting for the exams, making them more comfortable. Further, Kandary said that considerable numbers of evening students did not show up to the exams, adding that those would be considered doublers. She also said that some students were caught cheating red-handed.
Voluntary teams
Following the end of a grace period given by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor’s (MSAL) community development department to all voluntary teams taking part in the ‘Bader’ project to update their information, MSAL is currently preparing lists of the teams that failed to do so to be submitted to minister Hind Al-Sabeeh for consultancy. “They will most likely be written off,” informed sources expected.  The sources explained that the total number of registered voluntary teams was 182, while only 78 of them were active and effective, which means that 104 of them had been graced a fortnight to rectify their status.
By A Saleh
Source- Kuwait times

June 13, 2018

Preteder Walkaround

NHAI to do pre-tender health check on highways, share data with bidders

Appoints Crisil, Deloitte and Mazars to conduct due diligence of nine stretches that would be tendered this month

Megha Manchanda  |  New Delhi 
road, road construction, highway
The Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is currently tendering road monetisation projects, has started of a unique data-sharing plan with prospective bidders. It is undertaking the task of conducting due diligence for the contracts prior to their bidding.
will ascertain the health of TOT or toll-operate-transfer projects, which would then be offered to international investors for their operation and maintenance.
An NHAI-appointed consultant would establish a data bank of the road assets that would be tendered. These O&M contracts are usually for 20-25 years and hence the prospective bidders require a detailed blueprint of the contract before submitting bids.
“Three consultants have been appointed--Crisil, and Mazars--for conducting the pre-bid due diligence of the nine stretches that would be tendered by this month,” a industry executive told Business Standard.
As part of the due diligence process, the consultants would establish how good the asset is, the age of the asset and material used in the construction of that road. The data created would then be put in public domain by the for the prospective bidders to study before submission of their bids.
Three bundles of highway stretches would be tendered by the NHAI this month. A batch of nine stretches across Odisha, West Bengal, Assam and Bihar, a bunch of seven stretches across Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Rajasthan and Gujarat and another bundle of 10 stretches across UP, Bihar and Jharkhand.
This is the second round of bidding for TOT projects after the one in March, when a joint venture of Macquarie and Ashoka Buildcon bagged the first bundle of road monetization projects for Rs 96.8 billion.
These projects were offered to the international players after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, in August 2016, authorized the NHAI to monetize public funded highway projects, which are operational and are generating toll revenues for at least two years after the commercial operations date through the TOT model.
NHAI to do pre-tender health check on highways, share data with bidders
Under the TOT model, the concessionaire pays a one-time fee upfront and operates the toll for 30 years. This model is applicable to engineering, procurement and construction and the built, operate and transfer (annuity) highway projects that were commissioned at least two years ago.
Funds generated from highway monetisation would be used for new infrastructure programmes such as the Bharatmala.
First Published: Tue, June 12 2018. 22:22 IST

April 17, 2018

Project Delays

Another year of delays along Highway 401 in SDG and Cornwall

By Marc Benoit, Special to the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder
<p>Projects in the works for 2018 along Highway 401 in Cornwall and SDG. Map produced by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.</p><p>
Handout/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network
Projects in the works for 2018 along Highway 401 in Cornwall and SDG. Map produced by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
Handout/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network
Drivers can expect to spend a bit more time in traffic this summer as  they navigate Highway 401 through SDG.
SDG council heard from representatives from the Ministry of Transportation on Monday, as six major construction projects along the 401 corridor are planned for 2018, alongside 20 major projects provincewide. The projects are expected to create delays and frustrations for drivers, which the Ministry of Transportation is hoping to address.
Frank Pinder and Mike Delugt presented the MTO plan for southern Ontario highways, and answered questions and concerns from staff members and councillors in relation to the detours and delays planned for the summer.
Wales Road underpass and Avonmore Road underpass near Long Sault are slated for construction work, along with the Pitt Street overpass, the Bainsville Road underpass, the South Raisin River culvert, and paving along the stretch between Lancaster and Cornwall. Of these, the Avonmore Road work is a carryover from the 2017 season. It was initially supposed to be complete last year.
Each project will require a 12-hour closure in each direction, leading to an increased volume of traffic on local roads.
SDG staff members and councillors expressed concern over the impact the closures may have on the community. It will also be another summer — the third or fourth — that there is Highway 401 construction taking place within SDG and Cornwall.
Couns. Jim Bancroft and Tammy Hart pressed the delegation from the MTO about the Avonmore project, as it had been originally slated for completion last year. Due to issues with the tender, the project has carried over to the current season.
“Avonmore Road is still closed and that’s a big concern,” said Ben de Haan, director of planning for SDG. “That’s meant disruption for the residents. It impacts how we plow the roads, patrol, and maintain them. So there is quite a bit of impact, even if it’s a little each day.”
The company tasked with completion of the project, Cruickshank Construction, is the same company in charge of completing the Wales Road project. de Haan noted there is concern at the municipal level the company will not be able to complete the project on time, leading to a similar situation as Avonmore.
“We want assurances that the road will be open before winter,” said de Haan.
To better prepare motorists for the summer of detours and delays, the MTO is promoting its Twitter feed as a way to stay informed, along with the Ontario 511 website, alongside digital signage posted along the Highway 401.
“Drivers will have the information they need to plan ahead,” said Delugt.
As part of the Southern Highways Program rolled out by the provincial government, the MTO had to scale back the number of projects across the province for the current season.