Maintain Plant Production
Refinitiv hosted a webinar Dec. 1, 2020, titled “Caribbean Energy Outlook” in which Senior Energy Analyst Corey Stewart and Proposition Sales Specialist Michael Sahrman presented impactful issues for the Caribbean region as a whole. The information offered education to North American asphalt mix producers in a number of ways, including potential pricing of liquid asphalt cement (AC) products in the near future. The presenters looked at the relationships between prices and the many factors that affect them—demographics, group preferences (such as owning/driving a car) and population growth rates.
What I found most intriguing from the presentation was Stewart’s discussion of corruption’s effect on environmental stagnation. The presenters shared that the Annual Corruption Perceptions Report ranked Venezuela at 173 out of 180 countries, and Stewart shared that Venezuela’s problems are affecting refineries and storage facilities in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, to name a few. When environmental disrepair is allowed to reach a critical point—as Bonaire’s BOPEC experienced—shut-down is the only responsible course of action. Shut-down in one area, of course, influences price elsewhere.
Also consider the effect COVID-19 had on the region. Stewart and Sahrman shared that COVID’s impact on the Caribbean had been less than 1 percent as of Dec. 1, yet still wreaked havoc on infrastructure.
“From a direct-impact perspective, the Caribbean has fared better than other areas of the world,” Stewart shared. “The story of Caribbean refining is one of hardship. First, Caribbean refining was affected by Coronavirus.” Workers did get sick, which affected maintenance schedules. “Schedules were largely put off. If you don’t maintain a refinery, it breaks down.” This same scenario is taking place around the globe.
Apply this concept to the hot-mix asphalt plant. Consider the maintenance schedule(s) at your asphalt plant or quarry. Have you allowed routine maintenance to slide as worker rotation has changed in the COVID-19 climate? It may be difficult to schedule workers for their optimum safety with distancing and still get all the components of the plant double-checked this winter, but you can bet the extra effort in scheduling and maintenance now will pay dividends in uptime this spring and summer.
Safe, smart scheduling of winter maintenance is paramount to optimum summer production. Let the manufacturers and service providers listed on the next few pages help you make the most of each worker’s time and expertise.