Pilipinas Shell has officially launched the Bitumen FreshAir, an environment-friendly asphalt product developed to reduce air quality impact in the construction of bridges, highways, racetracks, roads, bridges, and runways.
A total of 17 million kilograms of Shell’s Bitumen can cover various local infrastructure projects across the country, enhancing air quality for motorists and passengers as they travel.
The product has earned the nod of Public Works Assistant Director, Bureau of Research and Standards Engr. Reynaldo Faustino, as the earth-friendly bitumen product complies with the department's standard regulations.
“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. The Bitumen FreshAir fits in our projects as it meets R.A. 8749 or the Clean Air Act,” Faustino said.
Although the local government unit of the eco-tourism spot Bohol was the first to utilize Bitumen FreshAir, Shell Bitumen PH’s Country Business Manager Allan Canedo emphasized that the organization will reach out to other regions and their local government units.
“We’re looking to lock in deals with ecotourism destinations just like Bohol where stringent policies in protecting the environment are in place. We are confident that we 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 said.
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, according to Shell Bitumen Philippines Technical Manager Janet Marcellana.
“It significantly reduced the levels of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide by an average of 40 percent during asphalt production and road paving when compared to using conventional bitumen,” she added.
Shell developed Bitumen FreshAir at its world-class R&D Center in Bangalore, India. The product has been tested in four major locations, namely France, United Kingdom, Thailand, and Netherlands, where positive changes in air quality are being reported.
The same rang true for first-time Bitumen FreshAir users in the Philippines. Soon after Cebu 7H Technochem Industries Inc. Quality Assurance Manager Rhowell Tiu mandated the use of Bitumen FreshAir in their project, complaints from the local government unit over strong odor in their batching plant immediately dropped.
“After using this innovative product from Shell, we no longer received complaints and our working environment has drastically improved,” Tiu said.
Faustino said the DPWH encourages stakeholders in the construction industry to “consider the use of environment-friendly construction materials to create a more sustainable tomorrow.”
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