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Ethiopia’s rapid road building

First publishedin World Highways
2015 October
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XCMG asphalt paver and asphalt compactor
An asphalt paver and twin drum asphalt compactor from XCMG are amongst the team of equipment from the Chinese supplier working on the Ethiopia road project
Ethiopia is undergoing a rapid economic growth and infrastructure construction programme

This is helping drive the country’s economy, with new roads, railways and dams amongst the major civils works currently under construction. The road expansion programme is one of the key targets for the infrastructure work and it is estimated that the road network of the country will be expanded to 136,000km in all.

The project to upgrade the Kombolcha-Bati-Mille road is financed by the World Bank. The road is located in Northeast Ethiopia and runs through Amhara and Afar. This route is a major connection linking Middle Ethiopia with Djibouti Port.

The project for the Burka-Mille section forms a part of Kombolcha-Bati-Mille route. With a total length of 74km, this three-year project duration is costing over US$70 million. The Burka-Mille section plays an important role in the country’s development as it connects Northeastern Ethiopia and Djibouti. Completion of the project will help Ethiopia to develop its cross-border trade.

Carrying out important roles on the project is a fleet of machines provided by XCMG. The machines include an XS223J compactor, an XS262 compactor, a GR180 grader, an RP952 asphalt paver and an XTF120 synchronous chip sealer. The machines are coping with extremely tough conditions and ambient temperatures as high as 46oC.

The XS262 heavy-duty single drum vibratory roller is part of the new XCMG equipment generation, with high performance and cooling capacity. This 26tonne machine has an open cab design that is said to provide an unobstructed front and back view for the operator.

The machine has a novel drum design that is 2.13m wide and is said to offer good rigidity and strength. It also features special vibration bearings that are claimed to provide a high speed limit and strong load capacity for tough working operations. Vibration frequencies of 27 and 32Hz are offered and the machine has travel speeds of 0-10km/h, with power from a 160kW Deutz disel. The controls are said to be ergonomic in layout while the machine also benefits from a novel hydraulic drive system as well as equal drum weight distribution for high compaction performance. In addition, the heavy-duty drive axle with anti-slip speed differentiation is said to ensure maximum power transfer.

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