We Stock Non – Iranian Bitumen and Bitumen for Donor funded projects.
Bitumen grades are mainly:
- Cut Back bitumen for binding and they are: MC 30, MC 70, MC 3000 and Emulsion K1-60
- The main grades are 60/70, 80/100, 45/50 and 150/200
Bitumen are sold and packed in drums, polybags and/or bitumen containers.
Starpeco is dealing with the main grades which are 60/70 or 80/100 as well as cut backs packed in drums.
The main user/direct buyers are main roads construction companies, who are natural, trade of Starpeco in lubricant business. Others are municipal town and cities for new roads as well as regular maintenance.
Emulsion Bitumen Plant
Starpeco is in the final stages of constructing Bitumen Emulsion plant. A plant which is the first of its kind in Tanzania will be producing internationally recommended environmental friendly bitumen for road construction and allied products serving not only Tanzanian market but also East and Central Africa Market outreaching countries such as Uganda, DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia and Malawi. The production is set to commence in early May, 2014.The new plant will be processing 10 tonnes of emulsion-bitumen per hour.
Mr. Nshekanabo revealed that the total cost of importing and installing the new plant stands at about $ 2m/- over Tshs. 3.2bn/-. The plant will provide 18 permanent employments and over 100 indirect employments.
“STARPECO has been a prominent figure in bitumen industry. We import, process and sell bitumen of all grades namely pen grades, cutbacks and Emulsion Bitumen at impeccable quality and unbeatable prices” pointed out Nshekanabo, adding that his firm is honoured to supply bitumen to some of the important projects in the country such as rehabilitation of Mandela Road, Songwe Airport and New Bagamoyo road.
What is Bitumen Emulsion?
An emulsion can be defined as a dispersion of small droplets of one liquid in another. In most emulsions one of the liquid is water. Emulsion can either be oil-in-water(O/W) or water –in-oil phase (W/O). Bitumen emulsions generally belong to the oil-in-water type of emulsions where bitumen is dispersed in water with the aid of a small quantity of emulsifying agent. The agent stabilises the bitumen particles under normal conditions of storage. Bitumen emulsions derive their main use in road construction and maintenance because of their safety, ease in handling and excellent adhesion properties. More recently, environmental considerations have reduced the use of cutback (solvent based) bitumen applications.
The advantage of water based bitumen (emulsion bitumen) is that it allows bitumen, which is semi-solid unless heated, to be handled and applied at low temperatures. Following application of an emulsion, it undergoes a ‘breaking’ or ‘setting’ process where the bitumen droplets combine to deposit the bitumen on the paving aggregate as a film. By contrast, cutback bitumen contains a significant proportion of cutter (kerosene), to reduce the viscosity of the bitumen and help coat the aggregates. The cutter must then evaporate before the bitumen is left behind as a film on the stone. This evaporation process can take longer time. If the cutter is still present when the final surfacing is applied, this can result in flushing of the pavement, resultant loss of surface texture and skid resistance.
Environmentally, Bitumen emulsions conserve the use of non-renewable petroleum products and reduce the risk of hydrocarbon pollution of waterways and the atmosphere. Generally, this emulsion bitumen will help reduce water, air and soil pollution and hence helps to maintain earth’s ecosystem.
Why Starpeco chose to install Bitumen Emulsion Plant?
Tanzania through Big Result Now Initiative aims at transforming our economy into a middle class economy. Industrialisation is one of the major factors of realizing this objective. Starpeco decide to invest in Emulsion Bitumen Plant in order to make availability of emulsion bitumen produced in the country instead of importing and add value to bitumen imported before its uses and use local resources such as water.
One way to improve a nation’s income is through exporting. Starpeco is materializing this idea by deciding to install an emulsion bitumen plant which will be serving great lakes where emulsion bitumen is not readily produced.
- Cost Effective
Emulsion Bitumen is the most economical bitumen binder as compared to cut back bitumen binder as it uses water instead of kerosene (cutter). It is cheaper and environmental friendly. Through using emulsion bitumen government will manage to reduce cost of roads construction and the fund can be reallocated to other uses.
- Convenience of use
Emulsion bitumen is easy to use as compared to cut back binders. The later is user friendly since its application requires less heat; it takes shorter time to drain/settle and it has fewer risks of explosion.
- Linkage Effect
Emulsion Bitumen Plant forecasts on linking up numerous sectors. This new plant will require more labourers for handling and loading works, supply and processing of packaging drums, more trucks for transporting readymade emulsion bitumen, scientists for the laboratory tests, water suppliers and other office staff.
Easy availability in fresh form it is another consideration causing Starpeco to install the Bitumen Emulsion Plant. Easy availability will reduce handling risks and stock out associated issues. Eventually reduce road construction material costs.
Starpeco decided to install bitumen emulsion plant as a way to diversify and transform our company from traders to manufacturers of bitumen. This will enable us to add value to the bitumen we sell and hence increase our return on investment.