Rome, 13 April 2021
Alma Petroli took part in the webinar organised by Unem and SITEB on bitumen and bituminous conglomerates: a sustainable solution for the resurfacing of over 600,000 km of roads and motorways.
A safe road is one that provides perfect grip for the tyre on the asphalt, is comfortable to ride on, is long-lasting and withstands loads without deforming. In this sense, bituminous binders will play a key role in the upgrading of our road infrastructure.
Investing in the maintenance of Italy's road and motorway heritage (about 600,000 km of fully paved roads, including 6,800 km of motorways) also gives a boost to the competitiveness of our businesses, as provided for in the recent PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan), which sets aside resources for mobility in the form of the road infrastructure.
Bitumen is a 100% recyclable, high-tech product that has undergone a wide-ranging innovation process that, as a result, is now making possible highly advanced applications capable of minimising energy, environmental and safety issues at all stages of operations. Studies and experiments are being undertaken into the reuse of secondary raw materials or of regenerated and recovered waste products, in the context of the circular economy and decarbonisation.
Sustainable mobility is not just about vehicles but also about the roads that they drive on every day. It was to explore this issue that Unem and Siteb, organisations with which we are associated, organised the webinar 'Mobility and PNNR: the contribution of bitumen to roads and decarbonisation'.
During the webinar, representatives of national and local institutions and of the industrial sectors most heavily involved spoke about the enormous technological progress made in the road sector (from bituminous binders to machinery) and their contribution to increasing the efficiency, durability and safety of roads: advanced interventions that are more and more environmentally sustainable, because roads in a good state are synonymous with an advanced country and are a guarantee of safety for all users.
"Italy is faced with the challenge of guaranteeing the resumption of major public works and maintaining those that are currently in progress, a pillar of the PNRR, without compromising on fundamental principles inspired by criteria of environmental sustainability and a circular economy that we cannot ignore today," commented Claudio Spinaci (Unem president), adding that "bituminous conglomerates are perhaps the most efficient and environmentally viable way to add significant impetus to a serious plan for modernising our entire road network”.
The online event was also an opportunity to illustrate, through a series of technical presentations, the technological advances made in the sector and the implementation of circular economy practices in road construction and maintenance. For our Innovation and Technology Manager, Giampaolo Fenati (Alma Petroli) "bitumen production is becoming a better choice for the company and is also more profitable than that of fuel". Furthermore, "independent studies and others from various agencies show that CO2 emissions from vehicles can be reduced by 5% with proper road maintenance". Maria Rita Valentinetti (Eni Energy Evolution Green Traditional Refining & Marketing) explained that recovering the entire amount of milled material produced in Italy would result in a reduction in the production of fossil bitumen of around 300,000 tonnes, with a consequent reduction in CO2. Tullio Caraffa (ANAS) also spoke on the opportunities offered by the reuse of milled asphalt, illustrating in particular an amendment to the technical regulations on the end-of-waste status of the bituminous conglomerate proposed to MIMS (Ministry of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility) and MiTE (Ministry of Ecological Transition).
The event was also attended by Paolo Spinelli (Head of Procedures for Awarding Aspi Maintenance Work), Alberto Marescotti (Representative of the National Association of Italian Municipalities at the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan roundtable), Stefano Ravaioli (Director of Siteb) and Giuseppina Fusco (President of ACI’s Fondazione Caracciolo).