Pilipinas Shell officially launches Bitumen FreshAir, the 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 all over Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, enhancing the air quality for motorists and passengers as they travel.
The product has earned the nod of the Department of Public Works and Highway’s (DPWH) assistant director for the Bureau of Research and Standards Engr. Reynaldo Faustino, as the earth-friendly bitumen product complies with DPWH’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 the mainland to island provinces. The Bitumen FreshAir fits in our projects as it meets R.A. 8749 Clean Air Act.”
The local government unit of the eco-tourism spot Bohol was the first to utilize Bitumen FreshAir, and Shell Bitumen PH’s country business manager Allan Canedo emphasized that the organization will reach out to other regions and their local government units (LGUs).
“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 says 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% during asphalt production and road paving when compared to using conventional bitumen.”
Regular bitumen products usually receive complaints from affected on-site workers as well as residents of communities surrounding construction areas. Addressing this concern while putting sustainability in mind, Shell developed Bitumen FreshAir at its world-class R&D Centre in Bangalore, India. The product has been tested in four major locations such as France, United Kingdom, Thailand, and the Netherlands where positive changes in air quality are being reported.
Marcellana recapped that in 2019, construction projects in the United Kingdom and China where Bitumen FreshAir was used have already reaped the benefits of this product—and the Philippines is the next country that can fully enjoy the advantages of a carefully crafted innovative solution.
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, the complaints from the local government unit immediately dropped. “After using this innovative product from Shell, we no longer received complaints and our working environment has drastically improved,” Tiu said.
The use of Bitumen FreshAir in Bohol has elicited words of affirmation from his workers: Tiu said, “Before using Bitumen FreshAir, we used to get complaints from the local environment agency regarding strong odor in our batching plant. But after using this innovative product from Shell, we no longer received complaints and our working environment has drastically improved.”
Dir. Faustino added that the DPWH encourages stakeholders in the construction industry to “consider the use of environment-friendly construction materials to create a more sustainable tomorrow.”
This game-changing initiative brought about by Shell immensely underscores how it cares for the people it serves and for the future of the planet. “Shell is a responsible company that is always looking forward to making solutions that will benefit mankind and the environment. In the years to come, we can assure you that we will remain committed to providing solutions to the ever-changing needs of the world,” said Jeyan Vasudevan, regional technology manager for Asia, Shell Specialties Business.