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Bolivia: Production of bitumen (PMB) for road construction

General information
Project location: Colamarca, Bolivia, Bolivia
Consortium: Empresa Terracera Nacional SA de CV (Eterrna), Latinoamericana de Proyectos SA (LAPSA), Concordia SA Empresa Constructora
Project Budget: € 1,500,000
External financing: PSI Programme
Project period: From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2014

Salvadorian Empresa Terracera Nacional SA de CV (Eterrna)  is a full-service general contractor specialized in earthmoving and infrastructure projects. Latinoamericano de Proyectos SA (LAPSA) is a Bolivian consulting and service company involved in major public and private infrastructure projects. Bolivian Concordia SA Empresa Constructora (Concordia) is a services and construction company and Bolivia’s leading road construction company.

LAPSA investigated possible alternatives for bitumen and bitumen-based products which are currently being imported at high prices for road construction in Bolivia. The imported products are not suitable for the climatic and other conditions in Bolivia.  LAPSA, Eterna and Concordia decided to jointly invest in a pilot plant for the production of Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB) and polymerized bitumen emulsions. The pilot plant in Colamarca will allow the project partners to develop and test products which are suitable for Bolivia, like a PMB for high altitudes.  The plant will have an annual capacity of 15,500 ton and will be equipped with up-to-date technology, including an asphalt testing and evaluation laboratory. The project will generate 53 direct jobs and an estimated 200 indirect jobs for various service providers. The company’s staff will receive intensive training from various international technology providers. The project will foster the introduction of new asphalt applications, including recycling of used/old pavements for secondary roads. Once this pilot production plant is operating succesfully, another plant will be established in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, involving an investment of EUR 950,000. Replication of the project in Central America is also being considered .

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