SK E&C cooperates with Indonesia's WIKA in rock asphalt business

21, Feb. 2020

SEOUL, AJU - SK Engineering & Construction, a construction company in South Korea, has forged a strategic partnership with Indonesia's state construction firm, Wijaya Karya (WIKA), to cooperate in the natural asphalt business in the Southeast Asian country which has carried out a road improvement project.

WIKA's subsidiary, WIKA Bitumen, runs a plant in Buton, an island off the southeast peninsula of Sulawesi. The plant extracts and processes rock asphalt. Asphalt is found in natural deposits or through the distillation process of crude oils. Naturally occurring asphalt is called "crude bitumen."

Rock asphalt comes from the petroleum flowing into the split cracks of rock. As a natural asphalt, it has a high degree of fusion with ordinary asphalt and does not require chemical processing.

SK E&C said it would carry out the rock asphalt plant's technical diagnosis and provide solutions for the commercialization of a large-scale asphalt plant through optimized performance improvements. After commercialization, the South Korean company plans to secure licenses for new technologies through joint technology development.

SK E&C plans to carry out basic design, procurement and construction for the production of 700,000 tons of modified rock asphalt in Buton by 2025 that would help Indonesia reduce total imports of asphalt estimated at 1.45 million tons every year.