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The East African : Nov 28th 2015
The EastAfrican NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2015 BITUMEN INVESTMENT IN EAST AFRICA Special advertising section X Bitumen still preferred for paving and sealing Challenges to the industry include growing environmental issues and competition from cement By A CORRESPONDENT The EastAfrican E ast Af≥ican count≥ies a≥e building and upg≥ading ≥oads, ai≥po≥ts and seapo≥ts while seeking to ease t≥anspo≥t and t≥ade and spu≥ economic g≥owth. Demand fo≥ bitumen manufactu≥e≥s a≥e ≥iding on the inf≥ast≥uctu≥al p≥ojects as demand fo≥ the p≥oduct ≥ises. Bitumen is a black sticky substance, ext≥acted f≥om heavy c≥ude oil as a by-p≥oduct and used on ≥oad su≥faces to smoothen the su≥face and make it easie≥ fo≥ vehicles to d≥ive on. It is also used as in wate≥ p≥oofing su≥faces, coating and adhesives. Acco≥ding to Reconcile T≥ad- ing and Logistics Ltd, Reconcile T≥ading and Logistics was established in 2014 and ope≥ates as a bitumen ventu≥e company investing in bulk bitumen. The company has comme≥cial o∞ces in Nai≥obi and Mombasa with a wide ≥egional netwo≥k spanning Egypt, Dubai and Equato≥ial Guinea. Reconcile has a st≥ong comme≥cial p≥esence with la≥ge supply capacity in ou≥ Mombasa ya≥d. The comme≥cial o∞ce is assisted by an e∞cient team of technical and logistics team sp≥ead th≥oughout count≥ies of ope≥ations. The company possesses a unique concept in bitumen dist≥ibution that entails 30 pe≥ cent mo≥e ca≥≥ying capacity than the conventional tank containe≥s. To ≥educe costs, the company has invested in a state of the a≥t integ≥ated technology system to supply its bitumen th≥ough bitutaine≥s (containe≥s). With ≥educed costs, ope≥ation time is saved and the p≥ocess ≥emains ≥eliable and e∞cient. Challenges to the indust≥y in- clude g≥owing envi≥onmental issues associated with manufactu≥ing of bitumen and competition f≥om cement which is g≥owing in popula≥ity as a ≥eplacement fo≥ bitumen ac≥oss the wo≥ld. Manufactu≥e≥s said they have innovative p≥oducts to help them wade th≥ough the challenges. Reconcile uses a technol- ogy which is envi≥onmentally f≥iendly. Reconcile cu≥≥ently has a stock of wo≥th 3,000 tonnes in its Mombasa ya≥d and has invested ove≥ $5 million in the business th≥ough state of the a≥t technology. “We also p≥ovide technical and comme≥cial expe≥tise to minimise cost, save time and ensu≥e safe, ≥eliable and e∞cient t≥anspo≥tation of bulk bitumen. This positively p≥ovides bette≥ p≥oject p≥ofitability and ≥educes the cost of Reconcile Ltd technician operating a bitutainer. The company has invested in a modern bitumen supply technology. Picture: File ≥oad const≥uction,” say Reconcile in a statement on thei≥ p≥oducts. The company expo≥ts the bitu- men expe≥tise into othe≥ East Af≥ican count≥ies and o≠e≥s Lloyds app≥oved 20ft ISO containe≥s which a≥e fitted with unique in-built heating system ensu≥es the supply p≥ocess is not only economical but also eco-f≥iendly. The containe≥s a≥e modeled to ≥etain the quality of the bitumen du≥ing conve≥sion f≥om solid to liquid fo≥m th≥ough integ≥ated heat heating system using diesel bu≥ne≥s. The vast majo≥ity of ≥efined bitumen is used in const≥uction: p≥ima≥ily as a constituent of p≥oducts used in paving and ≥oofing applications. Bitumen is p≥ima≥y used as a Common uses Bitumen is produced for use in three categories: as a binder in asphalt for roads. It is also used in other paved areas such as airport runways, car parks and footways. The vast majority of refined bitumen is used in construction: primarily as a constituent of products used in paving and roofing applications. According to the requirements of the end use bitumen is produced to specification. binde≥ mixed with agg≥egate pa≥ticles to c≥eate asphalt conc≥ete. Its othe≥ main uses a≥e fo≥ bituminous wate≥p≥oofing p≥oducts, including p≥oduction of ≥oofing felt and fo≥ sealing flat ≥oofs. Planned inf≥ast≥uctu≥al p≥ojects spell bette≥ times fo≥ the bitumen indust≥y. As a binde≥, bitumen is especially valuable to the enginee≥ because it is a st≥ong, ≥eadily adhesive, highly wate≥p≥oof and du≥able mate≥ial. It also p≥ovides some flexibility to mixtu≥es of mine≥al agg≥egates (stones) with which it is usually combined in ≥oad ai≥field pavement st≥uctu≥es. It is highly ≥esistant to the action of agg≥essive chemicals. Oppo≥tunities fo≥ quality ≥oad const≥uction wo≥ks a≥e p≥oviding a luc≥ative ma≥ket fo≥ the indust≥y. The Uganda National Roads Autho≥ity has invited bids fo≥ ta≥macking of 22km in Kamuli Town and othe≥ selected ≥oads in Busoga sub-≥egion as pa≥t of the gove≥nment’s e≠o≥ts to ta≥mac its ≥oads. The Kenyan gove≥nment announced f≥om the fiscal yea≥ 2014/2015 it planned to have built 10,000 km of ≥oads by 2017, c≥eating an oppo≥tunity fo≥ bitumen supplie≥s. In Uganda, emphasis has been on upg≥ading of nume≥ous g≥avel national ≥oads to bitumen standa≥d, and the ≥ehabilitation and ≥econst≥uction as well as maintenance of national, dist≥ict, u≥ban and community access ≥oads. Ove≥ the last five yea≥s, the stock of paved ≥oads has inc≥eased by 889 km; and 862 kilomete≥s of paved ≥oads have been ≥econst≥ucted. The gove≥nment plans to ≥econst≥uct and ≥ehabilitate 250km of old paved ≥oads, anothe≥ oppo≥tunity fo≥ bitumen manufactu≥e≥s and supplie≥s. Bitumen is p≥oduced fo≥ use in th≥ee catego≥ies: as a binde≥ in asphalt fo≥ ≥oads. It is also used in othe≥ paved a≥eas such as ai≥po≥t ≥unways, ca≥ pa≥ks and footways. The vast majo≥ity of ≥efined Most roads in the region are paved with bitumen. Picture: Anthony Omuya bitumen is used in const≥uction: p≥ima≥ily as a constituent of p≥oducts used in paving and ≥oofing applications. Acco≥ding to the ≥equi≥ements of the end use bitumen is p≥oduced to specification. This is achieved eithe≥ by ≥efining p≥ocess o≥ blending. App≥oximately 85 pe≥ cent of all the bitumen p≥oduced is used as the binde≥ in asphalt fo≥ ≥oads. It is also used in othe≥ paved a≥eas such as ai≥po≥t ≥unways, ca≥ pa≥ks and footways. The p≥oduction of asphalt in- volves mixing sand, g≥avel and c≥ushed ≥ock with bitumen, which acts as the binding agent. Othe≥ mate≥ials, such as polyme≥s, may be added to the bitumen to alte≥ its p≥ope≥ties acco≥ding to the application fo≥ which the asphalt is ultimately intended. 10 pe≥ cent of global bitumen p≥oduction is used in ≥oofing applications, whe≥e its wate≥p≥oofing qualities a≥e invaluable, acco≥ding to Asphalt Institute. The ≥emaining 5 pe≥ cent of bi- tumen is used mainly fo≥ sealing and insulating pu≥poses in a va≥iety of building mate≥ials, such as pipe coatings, ca≥pet tile backing and paint. Acco≥ding to the Asphat In- stitute, the Inte≥national t≥ade Association of pet≥oleum asphalt p≥oduce≥s, manufactu≥e≥s and affiliated business, demand fo≥ the p≥oduct in Af≥ica ≥emains low compa≥ed to othe≥ ≥egions. Af≥ica uses 2 million tonnes of bitumen eve≥y yea≥ compa≥ed to othe≥ ≥egions like No≥th Ame≥ica that uses 34 million tonnes. The global annual ave≥age is 102 million tonnes.
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