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Lafarge Egypt hosts “Sustainable Roads Forum” on new roads technologies

Lafarge Egypt hosts “Sustainable Roads Forum” on new roads technologies

Arab Finance: Lafarge Egypt, a member of LafargeHolcim Group, hosted Egypt’s “Sustainable Roads Forum” at Al Massa Hotel in Nasr City on the 22nd of October 2018, in recognition of its pioneering role in the building materials industry and the provision of sustainable solutions which come in line with Egypt's Vision 2030 for sustainable development, with a special focus on the area of infrastructure, the catalyst for economic progress. The forum was held in the honorable presence of Brigadier Yahya Sulaiman Head of Roads Department at the Military Engineer Services (MES)-Ministry of Defense, Dr. Marwan Shadeed / Advisor to the Minister of Transportation for Projects and Technical support, Dr. Osama Okeil, Professor of Roads, Traffic and Airports Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering - Ain Shams University, Mr. Safwat Sobhy, General Manager of Orascom Roads Company, and Eng. Hussein Mansi / Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Egypt

With the current transformation Egypt is undergoing to become a regional industrial hub, vast infrastructure projects in all governorates are being executed, in order to support and facilitate domestic trade and foreign investment. This national road network has to rely on sustainable and best paving world-wide solutions that would positively impact the environment & the total lifecycle costs to support the state’s plans for economic advancement.

In this context, the conference has discussed Egypt's strategy in the development of highways, roads, and the ongoing transformation towards concrete paving, as well as the challenges related to local capabilities, the transfer of this technology from international expertise, and the availability of equipment and resources to support the roads sector development in Egypt.

On the sidelines of the conference, Hussein Mansi, Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Egypt said, "Egypt has witnessed a remarkable transformation in the infrastructure sector through the entry of several mega national projects. These projects have played a critical role to assure proximity & well connectivity for citizens and efficient transport of goods. With the 3rd phase of the National Roads Project being under construction, and taking into consideration the environmental standards for achieving sustainable development in both the design and implementation stage, roads are expected to see further developments to serve the new cities. And we are very confident that the technological solutions of LAFARGE in the concrete roads sector, is in line with the state's instructions, furthermore being one of the main partners in that sector, we are always willing to strongly support the National Roads Project that is being executed now."

During the conference, Dr. Osama Okeil, Professor of Roads, Traffic and Airports Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering - Ain Shams University, discussed the concrete road technologies that many countries have adopted it to replace traditional asphalt roads due to their great benefits. Concrete roads are safer, durable, and more rigid which enable them to carry loads of heavyweights compared to asphalt roads. On the other hand, asphalt roads get negatively affected by any changes in operating conditions, making them require continuous maintenance. In addition, concrete pavement is considered to be the least expensive on the long run when the maintenance equipment and the lifespan of the road are taken into consideration. Most studies have shown that the concrete roads have a minimum age of borrowing for asphalt (30 years for concrete compared to 15 years for asphalt), in addition to the high prices of bitumen used in Asphalt pavement which is imported from foreign countries, while concrete pavement depends on the cement produced in Egypt.

The utility of concrete roads is not only about costs and performance, especially for heavy-duty highway, but also for the surrounding environment. Due to their light colors, concrete roads reflect light and absorb much less heat than asphalt roads, which reduces the temperature and makes it very suitable for urban areas. According to scientific research, the reflection of light process allows energy consumption to be reduced by about 30% on the roads, which results more efficient usage.

It is worth mentioning that Lafarge Egypt is currently contributing in the implementation of the quarry road connecting the Kattameya / Ain Sukhna and Sukhna / Suez roads with 90 km long concrete paving technology. The company has also contributed to the implementation of the Cairo-Alexandria Road with a length of 170 km in 2012 and Free Shubra Benha road with a length of 45 km in 2015. The Ministry of Transport has announced the implementation of roads and bridges projects with investments amounting to 32 billion Egyptian pounds earlier. This reflects the size of the large projects that the state aims to implement in order to support the investment process and shows the importance of the new technologies that Lafarge brings to support the state plans.

According to the World Health Organization's 2016 report, Egypt is among the 10 top countries in the world in terms of high road accident rates. Most road accidents in Egypt are due to heavy transport vehicles, poor road network conditions, lack of commitment towards traffic rules, exceeding planned speeds, and driving under the influence of drugs.

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