Successful 50-year-old looking to the future

Eurobitume has been the voice of the European bitumen industry since 1969.

The organisation, with its main office in Brussels, aims to promote the efficient, effective and safe use of refined bitumen in road, industrial and building applications. This April, at the Annual General Meeting, Eurobitume members, stakeholders and industry partners gathered to celebrate the 50-year anniversary. This was recognised in a special ‘50 years of Eurobitume and beyond’ seminar, which revisited some key industry milestones and deliverables since its birth 50 years ago to where it is today, and looked ahead to 2020 and beyond.

This is how Eurobitume Director General Siobhan McKelvey describes the organisation’s development:

“Eurobitume has come a long way since it was founded in 1969, with a goal to provide a strong, unified voice for the bitumen industry in Europe. 50 years on, Eurobitume still has the same mission but a different structure. At the start Eurobitume was created from five national associations. The membership grew to also include company members. Since 2015 all the national associations have been fully integrated into one single organisation and the criteria for membership also changed, to open the doors to a wider scope of companies as new members with an interest or connection to the bitumen industry.

The driver for this was to create one voice to promote a positive environment for sustained bitumen demand and to be recognised as the first reference for bitumen in Europe. The membership development since 2015 has seen a fast growth of companies, and with the introduction of associate members as well as core members the total number of members has risen from nine to 28 at the start of 2019 (13 Core and 15 Associate).

We continue to provide information and clarity on technical issues as well as health and safety questions. We also work with government and regulatory bodies to develop and maintain testing procedures and safety standards, in order to ensure the highest possible quality standards in all bitumen-related operational activities.” 

And as for the future, Siobhan has this to say:
 
“Looking ahead, we are focussed on helping our members prepare to meet future challenges as the market environment changes. We have already identified ‘Sustainability and circularity’ as an important theme to understand and align ourselves with. Based on existing facts we want to communicate about the positive contributions that bitumen can make in this context.

Last year we launched a new industry E&E Event, organised jointly with EAPA.  This provided a new, unique, highly interactive platform to share thoughts and discuss ideas with a wide range of stakeholders about how the industry is preparing to meet future challenges, as well as sharing of best practices.”

Projects

Sokndal, Norway

The recently opened Motorcenter Norway offers everything from go-carting to drag racing. Nynas was involved in the project by supplying Nypol HF 105, a polymer-modified bitumen ideal for pavements that are subjected to high stresses.

Projects

Gothenburg, Sweden

The Älvsborg Bridge spans the estuary of the Göta Älv river at the entrance to Gothenburg and the biggest port in Scandinavia. The bridge, officially opened in 1966, has a total length of 930 m and a suspended span of 418 m. To guarantee the bridge's functionality and extend its useful life, extensive maintenance work has been under way since 2019, the third and final stage being completed this summer.

Talking point

Road infrastructure in North-Western Europe

Even though many successful road projects have been completed in Western Europe in recent years, the durability and availability of the road infrastructure needs to be improved.

Interview

Paving the way for asphalt 4.0

Digitalisation is making inroads in the asphalt industry. The latest Eurasphalt & Eurobitume (E&E) Congress was held virtually in June. It was a success, but the next E&E event will allow industry stakeholders to meet face-to-face.

Noted

All the key players are working together to achieve the best possible result.

Katri Eskola, Specialist Road Maintenance Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency

Talking point: The COVID-19 pandemic


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