Monday, 17 June 2019 | 12:31 WIB

President Jokowi Urges Using Rubber for Asphalt Mixture

President Jokowi Urges Using Rubber for Asphalt Mixture (kementrianpupr)

JAKARTA, NNC - Indonesia President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo has instructed to buy rubber from farmers. For this reason, the Indonesia Ministry of Public Works and People's Housing is set to use rubber as a mixture of rubber asphalt. The instruction was conveyed by President Jokowi when meeting with rubber farmers in Palembang, South Sumatra, some time ago.

Minister of Public Works Basuki Hadimuljono said that aside from being superior to conventional asphalt, rubber asphalt usage would help take in the farmers' rubber--which currently has a low price of IDR 6,000 per kilogram (kg).

"At present the amount to be used and the price is still being calculated by the Directorate General of Highways," Basuki said, as quoted from the written statement received by NNC on Saturday (1/12/2018).

The use of rubber asphalt for paving roads has been carried out by the Ministry of Public Works in several locations, including in South Sumatra. A mixture of natural rubber asphalt can improve the quality of asphalt hardening, in terms of service age and resistance to grooves.

In 2018-2019, the Ministry of Public Works carried out a preservation of 125 kilometers of Jalan Muara Beliti - Tebing Tinggi - Lahat with a budget of IDR30.55 billion. Of the total length, there are 5.3 km using rubber asphalt with a thickness of 4 cm.

Previously, trials on the use of rubber asphalt had been carried out on road overlaying in Lido, Sukabumi, West Java, with 7 percent natural rubber content. One ton of hot paved mixture can be mixed 4.2 kilograms of natural rubber.

The process of using rubber as an asphalt mixture, namely rubber from farmers in South Sumatra, starts from processing at the Rubber Research Center in Bogor, which is capable of producing 1.6 tons/day of latex rubber.

The process continues with mixing vulcanized rubber, which is carried out in the asphalt bulk place in Lampung. Subsequently it was distributed to an asphalt mixing plant in Tebing Tinggi, Empat Lawang Regency and mixing activities were carried out. Furthermore, rubber asphalt is ready to be spread.

As it is known, Indonesia is one of the largest natural rubber producers in the world. Every year Indonesia's natural rubber production reaches 3.2 million tons, and 0.6 million tons, of which is used in the domestic industry, while 2.4 million tons are exported abroad.

As a result of the decline in world economic conditions, the demand for exports of natural rubber in the country declined significantly, so that the price of natural rubber fell and that made rubber farmers lose money.

To deal with these problems, the government issued a national policy on the utilization of natural rubber by various sectors, including one of them is the use of natural rubber in the construction of infrastructure by the Ministry of Public Works, so that rubber prices will improve again.