Around the Globe: May & June
Asphalt industry news from around the globe
At the end of March, Petrosil’s Bitumart reported that Japan’s import of bitumen is up by 10 percent in the past six years due in part to local demand and construction work accelerating. Exports continue. Petrosil reported China and Taiwan as major importers of bitumen from Japan during February of this year. In fact, China’s bitumen import is up by 10 percent at 310,000 tons in February, receiving cargoes from Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
The results of the annual survey of industry use of recycled materials and warm-mix asphalt, conducted under the cooperative agreement between the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) and the Federal Highway Administration, show that while the rate of growth in the use of these materials is slowing, the amount of recycled materials and WMA used each year in asphalt pavement mixtures continues to grow. The survey found that more than 74 million tons of RAP and 1.9 million tons of RAS were used in pavement mixes during 2015, resulting in costs savings of $2.6 billion compared to the use of virgin materials. Nationally, the average percent of RAP used in mixes was 20.3 percent. Nearly 120 million tons of WMA was also produced, about one-third of total asphalt pavement mix produced that year. Source: NAPA
Bill Rosener is not just the executive director of the Asphalt Pavement Association of Iowa (APAI). He’s also a glutton for cold-weather punishment. On what the organizers called “one of the coldest days this event has ever seen,” Rosener’s Team Asphalt plunged into the icy waters of the Coralville Reservoir in Iowa City to raise money for the Special Olympics through the annual Polar Plunge. The asphalt crew exceeded its goal and was able to raise over $8,000 this year.
A new report finds that an annual $264 million increase in state highway and bridge infrastructure investment would support nearly $600 million in economic activity throughout all sectors of the Kansas economy. The additional demand, in turn, would also support or create 5,000 jobs—with over half being in sectors outside of the construction industry. The analysis, conducted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black shows how the impacts of transportation capital investments trigger immediate economic activity, including cost savings for drivers, and new and sustained jobs, while yielding long-lived capital assets that facilitate economic activity for decades to come. Black testified March 23 before a Kansas state legislature hearing about the report’s findings. The study was commissioned by the Kansas Contractors Association. An annual investment level of $264 million is consistent with an increase in the state motor fuel tax of about 15 cents per gallon, which would cost the average driver about $5 to $10 a month, or less than 20 to 40 cents per day, but would help businesses increase output, grow the tax base and support jobs across all major sectors of the state economy, Black said. Read the full report: www.artba.org/economics/research/.
Your AsphaltPro staff, Fayette, Missouri, has teamed up with hall-of-famer John Ball of Top Quality Paving & Training, Manchester, New Hampshire, to bring you an online training course for each member of your asphalt paving crew. With lessons for best equipment operation, proper morning startup, building the launch pad, figuring yield, safety tips and more, this course is designed to give new crew members the basics they need and to give veteran employees a refresher on best practices all to improve your company’s output. Check out free previews of lessons at http://training.theasphaltpro.com/p/asphalt-paving-101.
Dynapac North America LLC, Rock Hill, South Carolina, named Shellie Larranaga as its new vice president of finance and administration to build and adapt business models and practices for road construction operations within the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Larranaga has a master’s degree in business administration as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and corporate finance from Western Carolina University.
ROMCO Equipment Co. has joined the Atlas Copco Construction Equipment dealer network, and will now rent, sell and service Atlas Copco compressors, generators and light towers to meet customer demands across the state of Texas.
Douglas D. R. Palmore, senior vice president of customer and technical services at Luck Companies, Richmond, Virginia, was named the 2017 recipient of the Barry K. Wendt Memorial Commitment Award from the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA). Palmore received the award at NSSGA’s annual convention March 6. Palmore’s career at Luck Companies spans 21 years.
CASE Construction Equipment celebrates the 175th anniversary of the Racine Threshing Machine Works, opened by Jerome Increase Case in Racine, Wisconsin. Right from the early days of steam-powered machines, CASE has pioneered equipment and technologies that influenced construction businesses. The introduction of the first portable steam engine in 1869, which led to the birth of road construction, and the launch in 1957 of the industry’s first factory-integrated tractor loader backhoe are just two of CASE’s pioneering developments. Many milestones punctuate CASE’s history: from the 500,000th backhoe loader that rolled off its production line in 2005 to almost 60 years of wheel loader excellence, and close to five decades of skid steer loader development.
The 54th Annual Petersen Asphalt Research Conference (PARC) 2017 will be hosted by Western Research Institute and will take place July 17 through 19 in Laramie, Wyoming. The organizers expect more than 150 attendees from different countries. Visit www.petersenasphaltconference.org for details.