PETALING JAYA: The 2017 budget, which will continue to give priority to many infrastructure programmes, has brought cheer to major construction player, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, as the company will continue to remain active in the local construction industry .
President and chief executive officer Thierry Legrand said the proposed budget, which had announced more projects involving mass rapid transits (MRTs), highways and affordable housing, to stimulate the construction industry in these challenging times, would pave the way for the company to participate in tenders in the coming months.
“How quick it is going to be implemented will be critical because we know it is a real need for the people,” Legrand told Bernama after an “Afternoon with Lafarge: Sustainability by Design” event last Friday.
Meanwhile, Legrand was hopeful that Malaysia would build more concrete roads in the country as it required less maintenance and manpower cost compared with bitumen (asphalt) roads.
He said concrete roads were more viable and durable especially in low-lying areas which are easily affected by floods, as well as, heavy vehicles and heavy traffic. It would also ensure better public safety on the roads.
“This is an opportunity for the country, as it would also mean less bitumen being imported. As for cost, it is not necessarily more expensive as there are solutions that can allow roads to be built at almost a similar cost, thanks to advanced design and technology.
“This however, will depend on the needs and types of roads because some may need stronger structure and some may not,” said Legrand.
Currently, the percentage of concrete roads in Malaysia is small compared with more than 50% in Thailand and the Philippines.
Besides, he said the company was also encouraging the use of agilia, a self-compacting concrete solution for buildings, that effortlessly flows through the framework into complex shapes, without the need for vibration, thus creating a good finishing, compared with common concrete used in the industry.
“Hence, it does not require much manpower, which can help address the shortage of foreign labour in the construction industry,” he said.
At the event, Legrand called for Malaysian architects, builders, engineers and students to participate in the 5th International LafargeHolcim Awards, the most significant competition for sustainable design. – Bernama