20. 12. 2019.

120,000 m3 of sustainable concrete for the Belgrade bypass

At the heart of the Chinese “Bypass and road” initiative for roads construction in Europe

Founded in 1839, the Beočin cement plant is the oldest in the Balkans, meaning it has been producing and supplying cement for many capital projects in the region. However, the Belgrade bypass is something special. As one of the largest projects in Serbia, it will connect two cities, Belgrade and Pančevo, and it will represent the heart of the highway infrastructure network with a direct connection to the Hungarian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Croatian borders. The 70 km bypass will contribute to reducing traffic jams in Belgrade, air pollution and improving traffic safety. “It is very exciting to be a part of the project that will affect the quality of life in our capital and accelerate economic development by connecting people and goods,” said Dimitrije Knjeginjić, director of Lafarge Serbia.

More importantly, for the production of branded concrete Lafarge Ultra series: shotcrete and Waterproof, which are used in this project, Lafarge CEM II/A-M (S-L) 42.5R is used – cement with sustainable properties. This cement has a maximum additive content (ASX), which represents the percentage of mineral components in the cement, such as slag or fly ash, thus reducing the content of clinker, the most carbon-intensive component in the cement. This shows that the Beočin factory is not only the oldest in the region but one of the best in the Group in terms of ASX.

Phase B of the project is being completed, as construction work is underway on the last 20 km between Ostružnica and Bubanj Potok, which began a year ago. Lafarge signed a contract for the supply of 120,000 m3 of concrete with the project holder, the Chinese company “Power Construction Corporation of China” at the end of last year, as well as with the subcontractor “Azvirt”, our long-term buyer of cement and concrete. The concrete will be delivered from two Lafarge concrete bases, equipped with concrete heating, and cooling systems and working in three shifts, to meet toes of the construction of eight bridges and four tunnels. As Dimitrije explains: “Our company was chosen because of the list of successfully implemented projects, innovative solutions for infrastructure and reliability.” The value of this project is approx. 207 million Euros, with a completion deadline of 36 months. Additional projects are expected, since the Republic of Serbia has signed a memorandum with China on the financing of part C of the section, the completion of the Belgrade bypass, which connects it with Pančevo, via the bridge over the Danube. Please stay tuned!

More on the initiative to build a road network in Europe

The Belgrade bypass is another important part of the big Belt and Road project, a Chinese initiative in building a road network, and represents China’s growing influence in Southeast Europe, reflected primarily in infrastructure and energy projects. The Road Network Initiative is the world’s largest infrastructure project to revive old silk trade routes across land and the sea, finally connecting 65 countries across Europe, Africa, and Asia, by land and the sea.

“Lafarge Holcim has established a strategic partnership with China’s main Belt and road contractor. Over the past four years, we have been their first international partner in cement and concrete delivery, participating in over 40 projects in Asia, Africa, and Europe – working together with exceptional local teams, as we do in Serbia,” Nicolas Swetchine, the Head of Infrastructure Market and International Accounting, explains.