KUCHING: OPUS International (M) Bhd (OPUS Consultants), the asset consultancy arm of UEM Edgenta Bhd (UEM Edgenta) announced its collaboration with Jabatan Kerja Raya Sarawak (JKR Sarawak) to drive pavement research and innovation initiatives.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise the collaboration was signed between the two sides of which OPUS Consultants will provide Technical Advisory to support JKR Sarawak in their pavement research and development journey.
Under the MoU, both parties will collaborate on the research and development of new asphalt mixes for local conditions in Sarawak, which include setting up of JKR Sarawak’s Research and Development Centre, product development and commercialisation, field trials and performance evaluation, technology and knowledge transfer, as well as facilitate training, among others.
Dr Tony Chan, chief operating officer of OPUS Consultants said, “Our collaboration with JKR Sarawak is in line with the company’s efforts to partner with key stakeholders and create positive impact for our businesses within the markets in which we operate in.
“We will extend our capabilities in developing customised pavement solutions which are more durable and able to withstand Sarawak’s climate and terrain conditions.
“Emphasis will be on exploring solutions which incorporate locally sourced material and recyclable options to complement our shared values in promoting sustainability to support the numerous infrastructure development projects which JKR Sarawak is currently and will be undertaking in the future,” he added.
The proposed JKR Sarawak’s Research and Development Centre, will be known as ‘Centre of Excellence for Pavement Research’ and located at JKR’s Central Materials Laboratory in Tabuan Jaya, Kuching will focus on the development of new asphalt materials, such as Ultraflex (thin asphalt surfacing), Duraflex (Stone Mastic Asphalt), Hi-Binder Asphalt Wearing Course, ULTIFLEX, TUFFPAVE, DURAFALT (UK), ULM-Ultra (France), Fibretex (Germany), Super Fibre Mix (Germany) as well as explore the development of Recycled Asphalt Pavement (“RAP”) asphalt mixes using recycled materials such as plastics and or by-products such as milling waste.
The collaboration is in line with JKR Sarawak’s efforts to be self-sustainable and one of the identified studies is to explore the viability of utilising locally available aggregates from selected quarries identified by JKR Sarawak for asphalt mix production and ultimately avoid the use of imported granite aggregates.