Bitumen Site Visit(July 10, 2015)
Mark visited the Total Bitumen plant on Friday 10th July 2015 to meet with management and staff and to tour the facilities at Riversway, Preston.
The Total Bitumen site based at Chain Caul Way in Preston has been producing bituminous products for sixteen years and currently employs fifty four members of staff. Bitumen is used in the manufacture of road surfaces and its by-products are used to make waterproofing membranes and other insulation materials.
Mark was invited to view the new improvements on-site before meeting with some of the staff members. Recent investments at the plant include the installation of new gas thermal oil heaters which are more efficient, consume less energy and have lower carbon emissions. Also installed is a new fume abatement system to collect fumes from storage tanks and reduce the odour nuisance for the local area.
The Preston site is one of three main research centres in the world, with the other two situated in France and Germany. They undertake collaborative research programmes in state of the art testing facilities. The company also have an on-going initiative with Preston’s College training a new generation of apprentices whilst sharing their industry knowledge.
Jean-Philippe Oesterle, Total UK Bitumen General Manager said: ‘Total have made significant investments to develop its Bitumen plant in Preston to sustain the activity while reducing its footprint on the environment.
‘We believe it is important to be a part of and to support the local community so we were delighted to show Mr Hendrick the seriousness of our engagement and to open the dialogue for further sharing initiatives. These are deemed to strengthen industrial activities in Preston and their integration with the stakeholders.’
Mark said: ‘It was great to meet with the staff and management during my visit to Total. I was impressed to learn of the innovative solutions being developed here at this renowned centre of bitumen production, not only to manufacture bespoke road products but also to protect the local environment and safeguard local residents and commuters who travel through the area. It’s always good to hear about companies who take their corporate social responsibilities seriously and who want to be good neighbours. By supporting local charity, the Space Centre, allowing the emergency servicing to use their facilities to train and working with Preston’s College to provide apprenticeships, demonstrates Total’s commitment to be a global leader with a dedication to local communities.’