April 22, 2016
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 18, 2016
September 24, 2015
August 27, 2015
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April 23, 2014
A bitumen spill at sea could destroy our coastline, together with the fish and wildlife that depend on it, for hundreds of years.
I have previously discussed the light oil spill by the Exxon Valdez and the terrible toll it took on the Alaskan habitat and fishery. It also gave proof that a bitumen spill would be far worse. A bitumen spill would be almost completely unrecoverable because it would sink and stay on the bottom of our seabed.
The solution that is best for Canada is to build a refinery in Kitimat. I am promoting and backing this solution. It will convert the bitumen to very light fuels that would float and evaporate if ever spilled. There are other enormous benefits:
• There will be a major reduction in greenhouse gases. We will use new cutting-edge Canadian technology in our refinery. It will be so clean that, in combination with oilsands extraction, there will be less CO2 than in the huge conventional oilfields and refineries of Iraq and Nigeria. In other words, the Kitimat refinery will neutralize the extra greenhouse gases generated in Canada’s oilsands.
This refinery will be built in Asia if not in Kitimat, and if so it will emit double the CO2 of our new design. This is the reason that Andrew Weaver of the BC Green Party is in favour of a Canadian refinery.
• An Asian refinery will also generate 100 train cars a day of very dirty coke (much fouler than B.C. coal) which will be subsequently burnt in the atmosphere to create power. The Kitimat refinery will not result in the production of any coke. As we all live on one planet, it is far better for the global environment to build this refinery in Canada.
• Construction of the refinery will create 6,000 jobs in B.C. for five years. Operations at the refinery will result in more permanent jobs than any project has ever created in BC with approximately 3,000 direct jobs. These will be highly paid permanent jobs. These jobs will be available for the life of the refinery which should be in excess of 50 years. In addition there will be thousands of other jobs created in spinoff local petrochemical companies and in indirect employment throughout the province.
• The Canadian and provincial governments, local regional districts and municipalities, and many First Nations, will share in billions of new tax dollars each year.
Unfortunately our Canadian oil companies are not interested in building a new major refinery. They are focused on extraction which is more profitable than refining. One of them challenged me to spearhead the refinery myself, so I am doing that. We have a solid business plan and as a consequence Chinese banks and other institutions are prepared to lend us most of the funds required to build the greenest and most efficient refinery in the world.
We are currently moving ahead with engineering design and environmental work.
We will also build a safe pipeline from Alberta to the refinery, with the active participation of First Nations. Modern pipelines can be built and operated safely. Leak data is available for everyone to see on Canadian and U.S. government websites and it proves recently constructed pipelines are not leaking. Furthermore some of the best pipelining companies in the world are based in Canada.
In addition we will build a fleet of new tankers, powered by LNG rather than Bunker C oil, to transport the refined products to Asia. This way we know the tankers will be state-of-the-art and as safe as possible. The fleet will be owned by a company based in B.C. so it cannot shirk its legal liability if there ever is a spill at sea.
Let me be up front about my biases. I am for creating thousands of good permanent jobs in B.C. I am for creating billions of new tax dollars for government coffers. I am for reducing the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions. I am for building an oil pipeline that will never leak. I am for building a modern tanker fleet that carries only refined fuels that float and evaporate if spilled. I am against shipping bitumen in tankers.
If you agree that we should not put bitumen in tankers please contact your local MP and say so. The
Canadian government makes a decision on Northern Gateway next month.
David Black is chairman and founder of Black Press.
July 30, 2013
Today, certain automobiles are capable of crossing shallow streams and handling mud and a variety of terrain conditions, but not in de Smedt’s day.
We bet you never guessed the pothole existed before the automobile!
Despite the invention of asphalt and the considerable amount of traffic along the Eastern Seaboard in those days, by 1904 only 154 miles of paved highway existed in the US.
Today, a glance at a road atlas could give a young man in the wide-open Western US the mistaken impression everything east of the Mississippi River is pavement.
In fact there are over a million miles of urban freeways today, including 59,000 miles in the Interstate Highway System and other freeways.
The origin of the word asphalt goes all the way back to Sanskrit and specifically referred to pitch – another reference to oil bitumen.
Though perhaps less important than the advances of Jonas Salk or Steve Jobs, Edward de Smedt’s contribution to American commerce is undeniable. Without his ubiquitous invention much of America would still be wallowing in the mud, so to speak.
Even so, covering large areas of the ground with the black stuff creates urban heat islands as well, and the temperature over a large mall parking lot can easily reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit on a hot summer’s day.
Concrete uses a completely different binder mixed with granite, limestone or sand, but remarkably the degree of its use in human endeavors is second only to our use of water.
Largely the march of history consists of trading problems we are tired of for problems we haven’t recognized yet. Eventually we identify them, tire of them and find a way to trade them in for a newer problem – until it too becomes familiar.
June 28, 2013
June 15, 2013
But such a cut-and-dried question obscures the complex reality of oil pricing markets whipsawed in recent years by peripatetic pricing for North American crudes. Whether trains prove a strong long-term choice to send heavy Canadian crude south ultimately may depend on the very thing that rail's viability is now linked to -- new pipeline capacity to the Gulf Coast, symbolized by Keystone XL.
"Federal approval is not the end of the story on whether Keystone XL is built," Katherine Spector, head of commodities strategy at CIBC World Markets, said this week at an Bipartisan Policy Center forum on oil. "To me, it's a matter of the timeline. Does it take so long that other options become more economical?"
The State Department's March Keystone XL review cast rail in the leading role among those other options, citing its boom in the Bakken Shale and projections of increased western Canadian crude-by-train traffic for 2013 as evidence that oil sands development would suffer little if the iconic pipeline were not built. Yet environmentalists and Wall Street analysts have undercut that Obama administration assessment repeatedly, making any new admission from the oil patch about XL's importance to future growth into a new liability for the industry.
Forecasts of 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) riding the rails out of western Canada this year provided the foundation for the State Department's judgment about the trains' ability to carry enough oil sands crude to "prevent shut-in of" new oil sands production without Keystone XL. However, those rail traffic numbers include types of Canadian oil beyond Keystone XL's diluted bitumen, from upgraded oil sands crude to light and heavy conventional fuel.
Unconventional heavy oil such as diluted bitumen accounts for 34 percent of Alberta's crude production, with light and heavy conventional breeds contributing 22 percent and lighter upgraded oil sands crude making up 39 percent, TD Economics reported in March.
"Where that 200,000 bpd is likely to go and whether it's light or heavy is very important," Natural Resources Defense Council International Program attorney Anthony Swift, a leading Keystone XL critic, told House members last month. "The key question is whether it's economically feasible to move heavy tar sands crude to the Gulf Coast refineries by rail. The answer appears to be no."
But oil sands producers are not limited to a pure choice between rail and pipeline to reach their destination. The two modes "are also tying in with barge movements, notably from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast, using rail or pipeline for part of the way and then barges down the Mississippi River for the last leg," the industry-backed Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) wrote in its oil sands progress report last month.
One example of that new-school commute is a Canadian National Railway Co. (CN) terminal expected to open this month in Mobile, Ala. After disembarking from a CN train, oil sands can take a short pipeline or vessel ride to Gulf Coast refineries.
Even so, the 75,000-bpd CN terminal illustrates the challenge of predicting the oil sands' future without Keystone XL. Oil sands and light crude are both poised to travel there, making its fuel mix dependent on the biggest profit that producers can reap by buying in.
The industry calls the benefit for a real-world barrel, after production, transportation and every other cost is incurred, the "netback."
'An almost ever-changing array'Higher oil prices and lower production costs generally increase netbacks. Given how depressed oil sands crude prices are in the absence of a White House green light for Keystone XL, using costlier rail to get Canadian fuel to the Gulf also can increase netbacks by letting producers charge higher prices.
The oil industry wants Keystone XL to help diluted bitumen fetch those higher, world-market prices for the long haul. But in the short run, as CN spokesman Mark Hallman explained in an interview, "rail helps producers access markets that are not pipeline-connected."
Regardless of whether construction ever starts on XL or its similarly stalled western-running competitor, Northern Gateway, other new oil sands crude pipeline connections are proceeding. Gateway sponsor Enbridge Inc. is in the midst of a U.S. network expansion likely to rival the entire capacity of Keystone XL, a massive project that does not require a presidential permit to cross the northern border.
If more pipeline connections decrease the netback potential for rail, then, oil sands shipped by train could sputter. But if Brent, West Texas Intermediate and Western Canadian Select prices continue to fluctuate as much as they have, the nimbler qualities of rail could prevail.
"It's not just a matter of adding up barrels" that determines how producers free up their crude for sale, Spector of CIBC observed. "How much value do companies devise from the optionality they might get from rail versus pipeline?"
CERI summed up the state of play in its May report, observing that the political problems plaguing XL and Gateway have sparked "an almost ever-changing array of new developments and proposals."
We are witnessing a race between production growth and infrastructure restructuring," the industry group wrote.
June 14, 2013
The XH320X had been developed to include a fully independent hydraulically driven pre-screen to improve fines removal and reduce chamber wear costs.
It also features a hydraulically folding extended side conveyor with a stockpile height of 3.7 m (12.2 ft).
It is suited to medium-hard, mildly abrasive materials down to a cubical, well graded product size in a single pass. The Hydraulic Apron Adjustment/Control system allows for production of high quality cubically shaped finished product and with the additional optional grinding path for further reduction, allows the XH320X to produce even smaller consistent product gradation when required.
The hopper capacity has also been increased by the addition of hopper extensions that also can be hydraulically folded for transport. The new hopper design incorporates hydraulic locking pins for rapid setup time and removes the need for manual wedges.
The XH320X crusher has a full length product conveyor that is ideal for quarry applications with optional under pan feeder for recyclling applications where steel may be in the material. There is also the option of an extended hydraulically folding product conveyor that increases the stockpile height to 4 m (13.2 ft).
The XH320X can be powered by a Tier 3/Stage IIIA-compliant CAT C9 Acert 242kW (325hp) engine or a Tier 4i/Stage IIIB-compliant Scania DC9 83A 257kW (350hp) engine.
According to Crush Ltd’s operations director Ben Sherratt: “We had the XH320X on test for 9 months and were delighted with its performance. We tested the machine on a variety of applications including recycled asphalt, limestone and grit stone. The impressive performance of the XH320X test machine along with our direct input on design from a customer perspective allowed us to be involved in the final design which took on board the varying applications that a contractor has to work. This created a design which is much more flexible and suited to a crushing contractors need for versatility that ultimately led us to purchasing one of the first production machines.”
While on test, the machine first worked on highly abrasive grit stone where it produced an average of 180 tonnes per hour and 8,000 tonnes per week. When moved over to asphalt recycling, Ben said: “in this application it really excelled. When working on mixed recycled asphalt, the XH320X machine really performed, giving a very good consistent reduction.”
Recent increases in the cost of asphalt paving materials, namely the oils used in the bitumen cements and aggregates, have created an urgent need for new asphalt recycling technologies.
Written by Lindsay Gale - 13 Jun 2013 , Source- KHL.COM
May 29, 2013
There is no scientific evidence linking health symptoms to emissions from the CHOPS tanks. (CBC)
Thera Breau moved her family from their Peace Country home when her children experienced unexplained health problems. (CBC)
A family is blaming emissions from a nearby heavy oil production site for chasing them from their Peace Country home of seven years in northwestern Alberta.
Thera Breau says the decision to move came down to the health of her young kids who started experiencing unexplained health problems.
"They had urinary incontinence with a strong smell of ammonia," said Breau, who also noticed speech problems and skin rashes developed by her toddler.
Breau made the decision to move on the morning of Mar. 18 when she took her five-year-old son to catch the bus in front of her house.
"His eye was twitching so bad that he had a temper tantrum." Breau said.
"The air stank so I called the ERCB (Energy Resources Conservation Board), and decided I didn't want to live here anymore until I could be told that it was safe."
The Breaus left their rural bungalow, moving to a small rented home in the nearby community of McLennan.
Not the first to leaveBreau's family is not the first to pack up and leave the area. At least six other families have done the same.
Mike Labrecque, 60, moved from his home southeast of Peace River last year as his health was deteriorating.
He dropped 40 pounds and was experiencing allergic-type reactions such as hives and difficulty beathing. He now lives in a cabin along a lake without power or water and has seen a noticable improvement in his health.
When he does venture back to his property, he needs an industrial-strength gas mask in order to breathe comfortably.
"It's very depressing, I know I will never be able to live here again," said Labrecque through a gas mask while standing in what was the kitchen of the house under construction on his abandoned property.
"My body has suffered way too much damage... my body is totally allergic to the air here."
As for the possible cause of the fleeing residents' difficulties, all point to a relatively new process of extracting bitumen from underground in the region called Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand, or CHOPS, where heavy oil is pumped from the ground and stored in heated tanks which produce emissions that form an aerosol-type plume.
No scientific evidence linking emissions to symptomsThough there is no scientific evidence linking fumes from the tanks to any of the symptoms experienced by area residents, many blame the emissions for their ailments which began, they say, when new wells were drilled by Baytex Energy in 2011.
While the ERCB regulates smaller industrial energy operations such as CHOPS, it monitors the air only for sour gas and sulphur dioxide.Breau and the other families are convinced there are harmful substances in the emissions going unmonitored.
In March, Alberta's minister of energy made a trip to the Three Creeks region northwest of Peace River to assess the problem. It was following that visit that the Alberta Government took the unusual step of turning down an application by Baytex Energy to increase the number of drill sites.
Minister Ken Hughes told CBC News the Mar. 22nd decision was "unprecedented."
"What I could detect was that there was something in the air that was different than the rest of Alberta," Hughes said.
"This kind of development was experiencing different emissions, and different air quality problems."
Drilling company studying emissionsFurther development by Baytex Energy won't be approved until the emissions are drastically reduced or eliminated entirely, he said.
Baytex Energy of Calgary declined to be interviewed for this story, but in an email exchange, Chief Operating Officer Marty Proctor said the company has undertaken "numerous operational enhancements" to reduce emissions and improve communications with residents.
While the displaced residents are seeking compensation from the company, they say it's not just about the money. Residents say they would move back to their homes immediately if they felt their health was no longer at risk.
Baytex Energy is now unertaking an extensive air emissions study, and said it will speak further to the allegations of harmful emissions when the study is complete.
Source - CBC News
May 21, 2013
DA transport spokes-man Ian Ollis would approach Transport Minister Ben Martins and Sanral chief Nazir Alli to "account for their failure to adequately explore the use of the fuel levy to fund road maintenance".
Mr Ollis said the AA study conducted in 2008 reveals that abolishing the dedicated fuel levy in 1988 resulted in significantly less spending on road infrastructure and maintenance, resulting in the deterioration of the quality of roads.
After 1988, the levy went to the fiscus and the Treasury uses it for any purpose it deems fit.
Mr Ollis said on Sunday it was the DA’s policy that the fuel levy should again be ring-fenced so that these funds would be used solely for road infrastructure and maintenance and not for other purposes.
Spokesman Vusi Mona said Sanral was not responsible for the allocation of funds. "Treasury decides what goes where. If he (Mr Ollis) has studied other studies, such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa report, he would see that the fuel levy is not enough.
"Last year Treasury aimed to collect R42bn from the fuel levy but only managed R40bn. If you look at the N1 and N2 road maintenance projects in only three provinces that has already consumed the money from the fuel levy."
Source Garden Route Media
November 6, 2012
The President admits the Upper West region seriously lags behind as compared to other regions in terms of good roads.
It still remains the only region where there are no tarred or bitumen roads to link it to neighboring regions.
Addressing various rallies at Funsi, Issa, Nadowli and Wechaiu, President Mahama assured the people of making road issues a thing of the past when given the nod.
In a related development, President John Mahama Monday cut sod for work to begin on the construction of a 161 KV transmission line project for Tumu-Han and Wa. This will close the northern loop of Techiman-Tamale-Bolgatanga-Tumu, Wa and Sawla.
The project is expected to improve upon system performance.
According to engineers, this will also enhance the reliability of supply to the Northern parts of Ghana. The 75 million dollar project is funded by Societe General and GRIDCO.
President Mahama says the project goes to confirm his government’s determination to make Ghana net exporter of power.
Chiefs in the various communities continued to openly declare their support for the President and his party. They promised to do their best to ensure the party remains in power. One of them is the chief of
February 29, 2012
Lead experts of PU Bitumen (a TNK-BP unit) are taking part in the international specialized Polymer Asphalt Cement: Innovations in Construction exhibit. The conference is taking place on March 15-16 in Moscow with the assistance of Russia's Ministry for Transportation and Federal Road Agency (Rosavtodor).
The exhibit attendants will see PU Bitumen's innovative developments and unique materials used for road construction; in particular, the TNK Alfabit polymer asphalt cement products.
PE Bitumen actively engages in a project pursued by Rosavtodor and Ministry of Transport and Motor Roads of the Ryazan region where they test and compare different types of polymer asphalt cement for asphalt concrete mixtures. The test results will lay ground for making justified decisions on a more widespread usage of polymer asphalt cement for motor roads in Moscow and the Moscow region. The
TNK Alfabit has been used to pave experimental road sections of the Moscow ring road and Simferopolskoe highway.
The TNK Alfabit polymer asphalt cement meets the best international standards, and has been tailor-made for our country with due account for its specific climate zones. The new product is highly durable and is just as easy to use as the traditional bitumen. "To use this innovative product, road engineers need to modify neither their process equipment, nor the processes", said PU Bitumen Leader Andrey Chirkin.
Information for editors:
TNK Alfabit is an innovative product by TNK-BP. Using TNK Alfabit eliminates the issues inherent in road maintenance, prevents road cracking brought about by temperature swings, enhances the road surface and makes it more resistant to rutting. Using TNK Alfabit allows increasing the time between road surface overhauls to 6 years when roads actively used.
World practices in application of polymer-modified bitumen for road construction reveal its distinctive excellence compared to other improving agents used for asphalt concrete mixtures. The polymer asphalt cement has recently taken 10-12% of the European market of road construction bitumen. In view of the increasing traffic flow, the polymer asphalt concrete gains on popularity in Russia as well.
April 23, 2011
As the Russian refineries are century old and the specification of russian bitumen vastly differs from their peers around the world, Russia is at crossroads.
There is no agreement of opinion for the origin of the popular saying: "there are two problems in Russia - fools and roads". Yet most people agree on that and add that poor-quality roads come as a consequence of the first problem.
However, Russian Transport Minister dares to break the established pattern: asphalt on the roads is to be replaced by concrete.
Russia does not produce asphalt of proper quality, admits Igor Levitin to Rossia 24, then Russia should either improve the quality of bitumen or take up cement concrete for road construction.
Concrete roads are cheaper. Stepping away from traditional bitumen will significantly curtail construction costs, says Nikita Krichevsky, Dr.of Economics and chairman of Opora Rossii expert council, to Izvestia: The most expensive part of the road is the base layer. Using reinforced concrete plates as the base material will decrease the costs by 8 times, he says.
Nonetheless, some experts doubt the success of new construction material. Asphalt solution is a funds cornucopia for construction slackers who steadily get their "pork" money from different state-owned appropriations. The road repair seems to be a non-stop process revived after each winter period. In 2011, Russia is to repair 5,500 km of federal roads.
According to the analysis of World Bank, roads repair in Russia is quite a wasteful business: $27,000-$55,000 for 1 km of the road surface. In comparison to that, Finland (the country of alike climate conditions) spends a bit over $9,000 per 1 km. Trying to find the cause of this costs discrepancy, the bank's experts suggested that "factors contributing to high costs of maintaining roads in Russia are likely to come from insufficient competition in the road industry, as well as leakage of funds and corruption".
January 29, 2009
Bitumen often poses storage and handling problems. Here, Sean Ottewell reports on two Australian companies who are tackling these by turning to wireless communication solutions.
BP Bitumen operates its Australian bitumen facilities in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. Bulwer Island near Brisbane is the largest production facility with sales of 200 000 t/y. Products include paving grade bitumens, multigrade and a wide range of polymer-modified binders (PMBs).
The products are manufactured using purpose built equipment to rigorous quality and control standards and are designed to have better strength and durability than standard bitumens to deliver longer lasting roads.
Now the company has successfully overcome a fuel supply outage at the site by using Smart Wireless technology from Emerson Process Management.
Wireless instruments normally monitor the pipeline integrity of transfer lines from the nearby BP refinery and report exceptional conditions to control room operators via the easy-to-use self-organising wireless network. The wireless solution showed its flexibility recently when two wireless transmitters were quickly deployed to manage fuel delivery from temporary LPG tanks rushed into service during a refinery shutdown of the regular fuel system.
Officials at BP Bitumen seized upon Smart Wireless as a cost-effective and reliable method of monitoring the temporary fuel gas supply system (Fig. 1).
The plant normally fires natural gas in a heater to maintain a hot oil network at 280°C. All plant bitumen lines have hot oil tracing to keep the viscous product flowing. Even a temporary interruption to the supply of fuel to the heater can adversely effect operations because if the heater shuts down, the plant cools very quickly. If the plant goes completely cold, it can take three to four days to restart.
The cost of sourcing replacement product to meet existing contracts could be as much as AS$150 000 for a fuel outage of one week's duration. For this reason, a close visual watch had to be maintained on the temporary LPG supply to monitor it 24 hours per day. The Smart Wireless solution was implemented to monitor the transfer lines in May 2008, and fuel monitoring was put into service shortly thereafter.
The Smart Wireless field network solution included two Rosemount wireless pressure transmitters that were installed to monitor the fuel delivery from the LPG tanks. With relatively little time to prepare for the natural gas outage, it was not possible to size the temporary LPG system for the maximum firing capacity of the hot oil heater. Without careful monitoring, the heater's burner control system could call for more gas than was available, sucking the fuel line dry and tripping the heater.
However, with the wireless pressure transmitters in place, the burner control system could monitor the LPG supply pressure and avoid the trip scenario. The wireless monitoring of the LPG fuel delivery kept the bitumen plant running, saving the company AS$20 000 per day in lost production. The wireless solution also provided safe remote oversight of the fuel supply instead of continuous operator monitoring at the LPG facility. The plant operated successfully in this way for the duration of the week-long outage.
In addition to the fuel monitoring, three Rosemount wireless temperature transmitters are placed along the plant's bitumen transfer lines to monitor flow of the hot (170°C) bitumen. These instruments transmit status continuously, allowing immediate action if needed to maintain the flow of bitumen to the plant.
"This wireless network monitors pipeline integrity, helping to ensure that no issues go unnoticed for any length of time," according to Matthew James, operations manager at the BP Bitumen facility. "If we had not had the wireless installations, we could not have reacted so quickly to the fuel outage and that could have shut us down for over a week. As a tool to help troubleshoot unusual process conditions anywhere on the plant, they're indispensable."
Each field device in Emerson's self-organising wireless technology acts as a router for other nearby devices, retransmitting messages until they reach the network's Smart Wireless Gateway, which channels the incoming data to a control point. If there is an obstruction, transmissions are simply re-routed along the mesh network until a clear path to the gateway is found. As conditions change or new obstacles are encountered in a plant, such as temporary scaffolding, new equipment, or a parked construction trailer, these wireless networks simply reorganise and find a way to deliver their messages.
All of this happens automatically, without any involvement by the user, providing redundant communication paths and better reliability than direct, line-of-sight communications between individual devices and a receiver. This self-organising technology optimises data reliability while minimising power consumption. It also reduces the effort and infrastructure necessary to set up a successful wireless network, because up to 99 wireless devices can be served by one gateway. New instruments can normally be added to a network in just minutes.
"This wireless concept is not a fad or gimmick," James said. "It really works, and the operating range is amazing. It is a long distance from the temporary LPG bullets to the control room. The fact that we could transmit that far and do so reliably without a single loss of signal is quite magical."
Another Australian business that has also adopted a wireless solution to help handle bitumen is Terminals Pty, the country's largest independent bulk liquid terminals company.
The unloading, storage, and shipping facilities near the industrial port city of Geelong include a 900-metre pier and 16 or more tanks. At this location, the company imports and stores bulk vinyl chloride monomer and other hazardous and non-hazardous combustible and corrosive liquids, fats, and oils. Hot bitumen storage facility is part of a recently completed expansion project
Terminals Pty selected Smart Wireless to monitor temperatures in the 900 metre long, eight-inch wide, heat-traced pipeline used for unloading bitumen from ships at Geelong. It is necessary to make certain the electric heaters are operating all along the pipeline to keep the bitumen hot (160°C) and fluid. If a heater fails, a cold spot could form causing the bitumen to solidify and plugging the line with expensive consequences.
"We needed to monitor the bitumen line," according to Bitumen Terminal project manager Joe Siklic, "to make the operators aware of cooling anywhere in the line from the ship to the storage facility, which could result in an emergency shutdown. Any delay in unloading could keep a ship at the pier longer than planned with demurrage costing up to US$30 000/day."
The wireless technology was selected, Siklic said, for its lower initial cost and minimal maintenance as compared with hard wiring. Eight Rosemount wireless temperature transmitters are evenly spaced along the pipeline, sending temperature readings on one-minute intervals to a Smart Wireless Gateway on shore that channels data to the AMS Suite predictive maintenance software used for instrument configuration and performance monitoring.
The collected data are also forwarded to a SCADA system in the terminal control centre via fibre-optic cable.
Due to the self-organising nature of this technology, each wireless device acts as a router for other nearby devices, passing the signals along until they reach their destination. As with BP Bitumen's solution, if there is an obstruction, transmissions are simply re-routed along the mesh network until a clear path to the Smart Wireless Gateway is found. All of this happens automatically, without any involvement by the user, providing redundant communication paths and better reliability than direct, line-of-sight communications between individual devices and their gateway. "This is an ideal application for wireless," Siklic said. "Since numerous paths exist to carry the transmissions, the network would easily compensate for a transmitter failure, and the operators would be warned. This wireless network has proved to be reliable, compatible with existing control equipment, and cost effective. The amount of structure on the wharf is minimal, and that is another benefit."
January 22, 2009
Field Manufacture of Asphalt Cutbacks
Various types and grades of asphalt cutbacks can be manufactured in the field with standard equipment. Thinner cutbacks can be produced from the more viscous grades. Field manufacture of SC and MC, however, is more practicable than field manufacture of RC because of the rapid evaporation of gasoline from RC. Also, a greater danger of fire or explosion from the gasoline exists.
Equipment and Production Rate
The rate of production is usually controlled by the speed that AC can be emptied from the drums and heated in the asphalt melters to suitable temperatures for pumping. The production rate for the asphalt melter is about 750 gallons per hour. Figure 5-1 shows the suggested arrangements of equipment uses in the manufacture of asphalt cutbacks. For small-scale production, use a truck- or trailer-mounted distributor or a 5,000-gallon, trailer-mounted asphalt tank with heating coils, instead of a 4,000-gallon mixing and storage tank. Arrange piping and pumping to fit each particular installation.
At least one safety inspector should be assigned to each operation to help personnel stay focused on their particular job. He ensures that personnel observe safety precautions within his area of responsibility. Personnel must strictly observe safety precautions when heating bitumens. They must—
Keep foam-type fire extinguishers available at all times.
Maintain oil heaters, storage tanks, asphalt melters, and distributors in a level position before heating.
Never heat bitumens near buildings or flammable materials.
Control ventilation of melters, heaters, and distributors to prevent escape of flammable vapors near flames or electrical equipment.
Stay to the windward side of equipment to avoid excessive exposure to fumes.
Reduce heat when foaming might cause overflow.
Extinguish burners after bitumen has reached the temperature given in Table 2-1 .
Extinguish burners and evacuate personnel if a dense, yellow vapor rises from the asphalt melter, distributor, or storage tanks. (This indicates overheating to the extent that a spark could cause an explosion.)
Extinguish burners before spraying bitumen from a distributor.
Never smoke within 50 feet of any equipment. A designated smoking area should be at least 100 feet upwind of the equipment during heating operations.
Examine all hoisting equipment daily.
Never fill buckets or containers to the top if they will be hoisted.
Never allow the asphalt level to fall below the fire tubes while the burners are in operation.
Consult appropriate TMs for clean-out operations.
Wear long-sleeve shirts, cuffless pants, fireproof gloves, heavy-soled boots, and steel combat helmets or civilian safety hats. This clothing helps protect workers if hot bitumen accidentally spills on them.
The procedures for the field manufacture of asphalt cutback are outlined below. Strictly observe the safety precautions associated with the procedures to avoid the danger of fire or explosion. See Table 5-2 for the composition of asphalt cutback.
Use special axes or cutting tools to remove the heads from asphalt drums, and inspect the contents of each drum. Eliminate drums that are contaminated with water or material that could cause foaming or fire. Take care when opening the drums to avoid serious injury, which can be caused by improper use of cutting tools.
Load the drums inside the dedrumming tunnel using an electric winch or a lifting device to pick up the drums. The Army uses different types of melters. The main difference between them is the melting capacity, which ranges from 8 to 12 drums inside the dedrumming tunnel. Heat the AC to about 250°F until it is fluid enough to pump easily. Figure 5-2 shows a typical asphalt melter.
Once the AC (or cutback) is heated to a workable state, pump it to storage. The 5,000-gallon heated tanks are usually used as storage tanks. Use the oil-jacketed lines between the units to maintain the asphalt in the pipelines at a constant temperature that is high enough to keep the asphalt fluid.
Blow out all the lines (except oil-jacketed) that become plugged with cold asphalt. For oil-jacketed lines, heat uneducated elbows and keep oil in the jacket. If the original asphalt material cannot be delivered hot, pump it directly to the storage tanks.
Pump about 2,000 gallons of AC from the heated storage tanks to the 5,000-gallon mixing tanks. If using a distributor or a trailer-mounted tank for mixing small quantities, pump it about half full to leave space for cutter stock and the foaming action that may result when adding the cutter stock.
Adjust the temperature in the mixing chamber between 240° and 250°F. Pump circulation accompanied by heating or atmospheric cooling will help regulate this temperature. If the temperature drops below 240°F, the AC will not be fluid enough to pump easily or mix readily with the cutter stock. At higher temperatures, much of the cutter stock will be lost in a gaseous form and a serious fire hazard will exist.
After the original material in the mixing tank is adjusted to the specified temperature, stop circulation and estimate the quantity of material in the tank. Determine the required amount of cutter stock to place in the mixing tank, and pump the desired quantity into the tank.
For best mixing results, introduce the cutter stock near the intake pipe that leads to the circulation pump. Pump the heated original material and the cutter stock through a closed system in the mixing tank. Cover the openings in the tank with wet burlap or canvas while blending cutbacks. Ensure that fire-fighting facilities are readily available.
When manufacturing cutbacks from AC, start pumping as soon as the AC is fluid enough to pump without damaging or placing a strain on the trailer-mounted asphalt pump. Ensure that the temperature is as low as possible, not to exceed 250°F because of the fire hazard. After mixing, usually about 30 minutes, pump the newly manufactured asphalt cutback to final storage.
The following example shows how to calculate the combined quantities of AC and cutter stock needed for a specific type and grade of asphalt cutback:
Example: Calculate the quantity, in gallons, of AC and diesel oil that must be combined to produce 750 gallons of SC-800.
Solution: SC-800 is composed of 70 percent soft AC, with a preferred penetration of 200 to 300 and 30 percent diesel oil by volume ( Table 5-2 ).
(0.7) (750) = 525 gallons of AC
(0.3) (750) = 225 gallons of diesel oil
The procedure for determining the proportion of cutter stock added to asphalt cutback to produce a lower (thinner) grade is outlined below. Use the data in Table 5-2 and the following formula:
x = percent of cutter stock to be added to the cutback to be thinned
a = percent of cutter stock in desired cutback of lower grade
b = percent of cutter stock in cutback to be thinned
Example: Calculate the amount of kerosene and MC-800 cutback used to produce 1,000 gallons of MC-70 cutback.
x = 20.7 percent kerosene
x = 79.3 percent MC-800
To produce 1,000 gallons of MC-70, combine 207 gallons (1,000 x 0.207) of kerosene with 793 gallons (1,000 x 0.793) of MC-800.
Use the following example to calculate yield:
Example: The materials available in the field for bituminous construction include 1,000 gallons of 120 to 150 penetration AC, 750 gallons of MC-3,000, and 1,750 gallons of kerosene. Determine the following:
How many gallons of MC-30 can be produced by combining the AC with the kerosene.
How many gallons of MC-30 can be produced by combining the MC-3,000 with the kerosene.
How many total gallons of MC-30 can be produced.
Solution: Determine the percentage of AC and kerosene in MC-30 by referring to Table 5-2 . MC-30 contains 54 percent AC and 46 percent kerosene. If 1,000 gallons of 120 to 150 penetration AC represents 54 percent of the MC-30 to be produced, use the following formula to determine how many gallons of kerosene should be added to the AC:
x = gallons
Combining 1,000 gallons of AC and 851 gallons of kerosene produces 1,851 gallons of MC-30.
Use the following formula to determine the percent of kerosene added to MC-3,000 to produce MC-30:
x = percent of kerosene to add to MC-3,000
a = percent of kerosene in MC-30 (see Table 5-2 )
b = percent of kerosene in MC-3,000 (see Table 5-2 )
Use the following formula to determine the amount of MC-30 that can be produced by combining the MC-3,000 with the kerosene. The previous equation determined that 37.2 percent of the MC-30 is kerosene, so the remaining 62.8 percent is MC-3,000.
x = amount of kerosene, in gallons, to add to 750 gallons of MC-3,000
The amount of kerosene is as follows:
Available = 1,750 gallons.
Previously used = 851 gallons.
Remaining = 899 gallons.
Since 899 gallons of kerosene are available and only 444 gallons are needed, there is enough kerosene to thin all of the MC-3,000. Add 750 gallons of MC-3,000 to 444 gallons of kerosene to make MC-30 (makes 1,194 gallons). The total amount of MC-30 that can be produced is 3,045 gallons (1,851 + 1,194).