A Closer Look
Increasing energy efficiency in asphalt production in Denmark
Aiming to be a forerunner in paving in northern Europe
We are one of the largest paving operators in our market area, and we provide our customers with a comprehensive range of paving services, from basic road maintenance to specialised contracting.
We place special emphasis on ensuring that asphalt is durable and that the selected material is the best possible for the location. We aim to supply environmentally sustainable solutions to our customers, while offering high-quality special surfaces for roads and areas with special requirements related to wear resistance. Paving in challenging locations, such as airports, is one of our areas of special expertise.
A streamlined operating model
Our paving, mineral aggregates and earthworks businesses in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Baltic countries have operated as a one business segment, Paving, since the beginning of 2015. Thus we can more comprehensively and efficiently utilise the economies of scale yielded by our expertise, fleet and extensive asphalt plant network.
We aim to be the best operator in the industry when it comes to value creation for stakeholders, customer satisfaction and personnel commitment throughout our market area. During 2015, we concentrated on improving our operational efficiency by further streamlining our operating model.
We are dissolving the regional structure in Finland starting from the beginning of 2016 and moving towards a more agile activity-oriented operating model.
The mineral aggregates business will be managed as a separate entity. In addition, we moved earthworks into the Infra projects business segment in Finland. During the strategy period, we will also apply this operating model in our other operating countries. We will pursue further economies of scale and share best practices across borders.
Building smooth connections
In 2015, we maintained the road network in all of our operating countries. In Finland, we won nearly half of the state road contracts, and cities and towns awarded us several significant paving contracts, which laid a good foundation for the year.
During the summer, we carried out the runway 1 repair project for Finavia at Helsinki Airport; the project involved the production and spreading of approximately 150,000 tonnes of pavement. Our project management expertise played a key role due to the demanding operating environment and the special safety and quality requirements. The contract was completed under a tight 12-week schedule.
The liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal contract in Pori, the construction of the Meri-Pori gas pipeline and the launch of the Äänekoski pulp mill project also had a positive effect on our year in Finland. For the mineral aggregates business, the year went as planned, despite the tight market situation.
In Norway, we continued the development programme we started in 2014 and clarified our portfolio with divestments. We were in charge of many state road contracts, and an airport paving contract in western Norway. In the summer of 2015, we also carried out an airport paving contract at one of the busiest Norwegian airports, in Tromsø in northern Norway.
In Sweden, our business continued to grow in 2015. We opened a new asphalt plant in Skåne and increased our sales in all of our operating areas, especially in Gothenburg.
In Copenhagen, Denmark, we participated in the construction of the new Nordhavnsvej road, which will be put into use in 2017. We paved the more-than-600-metre tunnel of this four-lane road. We also carried out the first-phase paving contract of the new highway being constructed around the city of Silkeborg. Operating on a tight schedule was our strength in the Sønderborg airport project in southern Denmark, where we paved a runway in 30 hours.
We carried out several paving contracts throughout Estonia. During 2015, our asphalt production in the country reached a historic record: approximately 460,000 tonnes.
In Latvia, we completed a total of 38 contracts during the year, a record in the country. We are an industry forerunner and the largest utiliser of recycled asphalt in Latvia.
In Lithuania, the beginning of 2015 was challenging but we were able to improve our performance towards the end of the year.
In Russia, we carried out bridge-paving contracts, especially in the Moscow region. In addition, we were in charge of several renovation projects on the heavily trafficked M4 highway connecting Moscow and the Black Sea coast, for instance. We also carried out the renovation and paving of a 4-kilometre bridge on the M4 highway. When paving the bridge, we used mastic asphalt, which, as special surfacing, gives us one of our most significant competitive edges in the Russian market.
Material and energy efficiency at centre stage
Material and energy efficiency take centre stage in our paving operations and we invest in both. Our target is to continuously increase the use of reclaimed asphalt and save energy in production.
Our reuse rate of old asphalt pavement in Finland and Denmark is very high by global standards. Especially in Finland, we do a lot of recycling on the road by utilisation of the different Remixing-methods.
In Norway, we increased the use of recycled asphalt in 2015. The use of recycled asphalt is also increasing in Sweden. In the Baltic countries, the rate of recycled asphalt use in 2015 remained on par with the previous year.
We have improved our energy efficiency by streamlining our asphalt spreading process. The reduction of idle time and loss of material is still a key target in all of our operating countries.
We carried out research and development projects with different parties: for example, we studied wastewater and stormwater handling with water permeable pavement, in order to be prepared for increasing rainfall in built environments that have a high risk of flooding.