Shell sets commercial rollout of eco-friendly asphalt product

Published January 24, 2021, 5:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Shell Philippines has jumpstarted the commercial rollout of its Bitumen FreshAir, which is an environment-friendly asphalt product that could be utilized in construction of array of infrastructure facilities.

The company said it will be offering its 17 million kilograms of Bitumen FreshAir to infrastructure projects across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and this will be apt for bridges, highways, racetracks, roads, bridges and runways.

According to Shell, it is the local government unit of Bohol which first utilized the eco-friendly bitumen product of the company, and that also served as the market take-off of that product in the construction industry.

From that initial venture, Allan Canedo, country business manager of Shell Bitumen Philippines, indicated that they will reach out next” to other regions and their local government units.”

With a top-tier product offer in the construction sector, he asserted the company’s confidence that it can “cover infrastructure projects in the whole Visayas, Mindanao and even Luzon with the 17-million kilograms of Bitumen FreshAir that our plants based in Batangas and Mindanao are currently sheltering.”

Canedo added “we’re looking to lock in deals with ecotourism destinations just like Bohol where stringent policies in protecting the environment are in place.”
In particular, Rhowell Tiu, quality assurance manager of Cebu 7H Technologies Industries noted that

when they used Shell’s innovative Bitumen FreshAir in their Bohol project, “we no longer received complaints and our working environment has drastically improved.”’

At this stage, Shell similarly vouched that its bitumen product already got a ‘thumbs up’ from Engineer Reynaldo Faustino, assistant director of the Bureau of Research and Standards from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), mainly because of the product’s environment-friendly attributes that in turn could “reduce air quality impact in the construction” of infrastructure facilities, and it is also compliant with DPWH’s standard regulations.

Faustino stated “the thrust of what we do at DPWH stays the same: we shall build more roads and long-span bridges that connect mainland to island provinces,” with him emphasizing that “Bitumen FreshAir fits in our projects” because it meets the stringent requirement set forth under the Clean Air Act or Republic Act 8749.

The DPWH official further indicated that they are encouraging stakeholders in the construction sector “to consider the use of environment friendly construction materials to create a more sustainable tomorrow.”

As explained by Janet Marcellana, technical manager of Shell Bitumen Philippines, “the use of Bitumen FreshAir has a similar impact on the reduction of nitrogen equivalent to removing an average of 40 cars per kilometer of asphalt laid per year.”

She added that such “significantly reduces the levels of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and carbon monoxide by an average of 40% during asphalt production and road paving when compared to using conventional bitumen.”