Bamburi Cement has urged the government and players in road construction to consider incorporating Hydraulic Road Binders (HRBs) into existing road design manuals and specifications for designers and contractors to give the product a legal basis of use.
HRB is a cement product that is used to stabilise road surfaces. The product which is used in place of other cement and lime varieties is mixed with soil and water to produce a material that is used as the foundation for paved roads.
Speaking during a consultative meeting, Bamburi chief executive Seddiq Hassani appealed to the Ministry of Transport to revise its strict policy in road construction that requires all contractors to use a particular kind of cement referred to as CEM I 42.5, traditionally known as Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC).
According to Mr Hassani if the government fully embraces the use of HRB, it will be a significant milestone heralding a major change in road construction.
“We urge all players in the country’s road construction industry to fully embrace the use of the more cost effective HRBs as opposed to the widely used OPCs. Laboratory tests show that use of HRBs significantly improves stabilized soil which translates to more durable roads,” said Mr Hassani.
The CEO was speaking during a conference organized by the cement manufacturer and the Pan African Equipment Group in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport to create awareness on use of new binders and technologies to educate on the economical use of alternative binders to OPC cement in soil treatment and stabilization.
The one-day conference brought together key stakeholders in the country’s road infrastructure industry, including road designers, engineers drawn from the private and public sectors.
During the conference, the State Department of Infrastructure, presented a report dubbed Verification Trials on Hydraulic Road Binders which details findings of laboratory trials on HRBs and their effect in improving soil properties.
It was concluded that certain HRB’s improve properties of certain soils and can be used in road construction.
The report recommends that further work be conducted on trials on actual roads across the country reflecting different climatic and geo-technical environments.
In 2014, the Government, through the Kenya Rural Roads Authority, challenged cement manufacturers to offer a low-cost product for use in soil stabilization.
Consequently, an action plan to develop HRB for soil stabilization was agreed upon. Since then, Bamburi has helped in fast-tracking the adoption and use of HRBs by producing two products conforming to international HRB standards.