SABITA led South African delegation visits ASPARi

25 maart 2015

A group of 18 South Africans visited ASPARi on 5 and 6 March 2015. The purpose of the visit was two-old. Firstly, to learn more about asphalt construction process control i.e. the work being done here in the Netherlands to professionalise the asphalt construction process. Secondly, since the Netherlands has extensive experience regarding lengthier guarantee periods than what is currently implemented in South Africa where the guarantee period is mostly one year post-construction, the visiting group was keen to learn about the implementation of extended guarantee periods and integrated contract forms in particular.

The visit was the culmination of discussions between Saied Solomons, CEO of the South African Bitumen Association (SABITA), André Dorée and Seirgei Miller that took place at the EAPA 2014 symposium in Paris. The very enthusiastic group, a mixture of asphalt professionals from the national and provincial road agencies, municipalities, consulting engineers, contractors and asphalt producers, were keen to learn from Dutch experiences. ASPARi researchers André Dorée, Seirgei Miller, Alexandr Vasenev  and Frank Bijleveld (now working with Ooms), presented insights into the research being conducted in the unit. Since South Africa faces similar problems with the installation and repair of underground services, PhD intern Léon olde Scholtenhuis shared the “Inner City Sub-surface” research initiatives. Jan-Paul Boutkan, the Enschede City Engineer shared the municipality’s views on the implementation of integrated contracts and road construction innovations such as new asphalt mixtures.  The first day was rounded off with Rinus Kok of KWS, presenting their companies role and experience with the DBFM contract form using the SaaOne project as a case study.

Two excursions took centre stage on the second day. Jeroen van der Spiegel of the Asfalt Centrale Hengelo (ACH) provided interesting insights into how a typical asphalt plant operates here in the Netherlands and on the walkabout around the plant explained each facet of the production phase. The day was rounded off with a visit to the BAM laboratory offices in Utrecht where Maarten Jacobs, assisted by Mark Frunt and Marco Oosterveld, presented the companies research and development work regarding their low energy asphalt concrete (LEAB) mixtures.  

 All presentations provided heated discussions and many questions from the more than enthusiastic South African asphalt professionals. Everyone indicated that they thoroughly enjoyed the activities and wished they could stay longer and share more experiences. The group will be presenting a report on the visit to the annual Road Pavements Forum Meeting to be held in Cape Town in May 2015. The meeting, held over two days, is somewhat similar to the annual Asfaltdag held in Amersfoort. Given the success of the visit, Saied Solomons indicated that further visits may follow. It is also hoped that members of the ASPARi network visit South Africa in the near future.


Jeroen van der Spiegel (far left) talking to the group at the ACH asphalt plant laboratory

Millyon Woldekidan of BAM (far right) explaining LEAB mix properties to the group

Maarten Jacobs of BAM (in the middle) explaining the workings of their in-house developed Foam Bitumen Apparatus

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