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SAMI and Tipco: The future of bituminous transport

Tipco Asphalt’s marine transportation services deliver a reliable and effective source of bitumen delivery globally. Image: Tipco Asphalt.

Tipco Asphalt has constantly evolved its transportation and logistical delivery of bituminous products globally. Australasia is also set to benefit, as Martin Brzuska – Managing Director, Marine Business explains.

Marine transport has long been an extremely effective method of transporting bituminous product transport. But few have refined the process as much as Tipco Asphalt.

Situated in 10 countries across Asia, the asphalt solutions provider continues to grow its presence in the Australasian market, in part due to COLAS, a bitumen provider and distributor, being a major shareholder. 

The company’s four decades worth of experience in Asia has led to further improvements and development of the Tipco Asphalt’s range of marine transport solutions.

This includes the delivery of products such as bitumen, emulsion, modified bitumen emulsion and premium modified bitumen. 

Tipco Asphalt’s vessel fleet capacity excels 40,000 tonnes deadweight, with each individual product having its own specific form and process for transportation in an effort to ensure quality prior to application. 

Tipco Asphalt continues to expand its operations, as well as the supply and manufacture of bituminous products across Australasia.Image: Tipco Asphalt.
Tipco Asphalt continues to expand its operations, as well as the supply and manufacture of bituminous products across Australasia. Image: Tipco Asphalt.

This is also backed up by a fleet of more than 300 asphalt trucks.

As Martin Brzuska – Managing Director, Marine Business explains, marine transport has always been a focal point of Tipco Asphalt’s delivery service.

“If you can transport 10,000 tonnes over distances to places like Singapore, Brisbane, Melbourne, Kwinana or New Zealand it turns into a great financial result for us and likewise for our customers,” Brzuska says.

“Customers can receive large volumes for the least amount of dollars so to speak. We’re looking forward to delivering even more.”

Sustainability is also a core focus of Tipco Asphalt’s marine transport. While Brzuska admits that the transport of these materials isn’t yet net-zero, significant leaps are being made to minimise the carbon emissions related to materials transport.

“We’re working to conserve greenhouse gases into the bitumen and later on using it for the road production. We’re using the least energy possible in order to extract the raw products, meaning crude oil and the least possible amount of energy to transform it,” he says.

“We are not burning it, we’re not wasting it, we’re actually keeping the carbon emissions and old greenhouse gases inside of this bitumen for later use in the construction of roads.”


 

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He adds that this also applies to the development of sustainable technology for marine transport.

“In terms of how we’re polluting, it’s almost zero. We’ve looked into our energy conservation and factories, and they look good in comparison with others who produce fuels to be used as a proportion for either cars or other means of transport,” Brzuska says.

“If we look to the future, fleet renewal, dual fuel engines or propulsion systems will continue to develop. It’s still yet to be seen what the main propulsion medium for marine transportation for some parts of the industry will be going forward.

“If you think about five to 10 years from now, we’ll be transporting bitumen with vessels that might not be polluting at all. That’s part of our sustainability plan and strategy.”

This includes Tipco Asphalt’s efforts to offset its carbon emissions through its several sustainability initiatives and strategies, as part of its Group Vision 2025, that aims “to deliver sustainable living for all societies with innovative solutions”.

This includes LNG (liquefied natural gas) fuelled vessels, a low-carbon alternative which can provide CO2 savings of up to 20 per cent compared to baseline heavy fuel oil. 

Tipco Asphalt recently took delivery of two brand new LNG fuelled vessels in March and July 2023 respectively, with both vessels already in operation. 

“These vessels represent the future, they’ve been awarded the green award/passport from the MPA in Singapore as the best technologically advanced bitumen carriers in the world. We will be renewing our fleet, technology is obviously advancing very fast so we need to follow,” Brzuska says.

Brzuska says challenges presented by on-going conflicts will continue to affect trading routes. But Brzuska says customers can rest assured that they’ll face minimal disruptions for any required bitumen deliveries across the world.

Tipco Asphalt is also working with its partner SAMI Bitumen Technologies and major shareholder COLAS to increase its presence and foothold domestically in Australia.

“We’re working with SAMI Bitumen Technologies in regards to the transportation of aggregates from Tasmania to Sydney. Our on-going fleet renewal will have a further impact on extending volumes delivered to SAMI in Australia,” Brzuska says.

“We know that Australia is closing some of its refineries and bitumen won’t be produced there, so infrastructure certainly needs to be extended and renewed, bitumen will certainly be a main source for this.”

Brzuska says he’s excited for these future developments, in particular the potential for further growth across Australia.

“Looking at how we can extend our transport to the Australian region will be an important and big focus for us,” he says. “At the same time looking at how we can minimise the environmental footprint.

“Developing our technology will also give us an edge to proceed further.” 

This article was originally published in the February edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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