News report, Swedish television, 28 May 2012


SVT NYHETER 28 May 2012
It all started with troubled construction project in Kuwait for more than 40 years ago. The Swedish site manager Gunnar Ohlson wanted to improve the cracking asphalt. Now he lives in Hässleholm in Sweden and the Road Authorities has decided that his asphalt mixture shall be used in Swedish road construction.

– It is much better and is thus cheaper, he observes.

The engineer Gunnar Ohlson, 86, began building roads already in the 1950s in Tanzania and Libya. In 1970 he came to Kuwait, where customers were not at all pleased with the ongoing road construction.

– The top layer of large stones came loose, he says. The clients in Kuwait expected a better job, the Europeans had said that they knew how to pave asphalt. So they wanted to sue us.

To avoid ending up in court Gunnar Ohlson began try a new asphalt mix. Instead of  mixing in the binder at the end of the mixing cycle, he poured down the bitumen first together with the larger stones. Only then he mixed down gravel and sand.

– The asphalt stuck better to the stones by this procedure and the whole mixture became leaner and tougher. It was a success!

The customers were happy, and thanked him in several letters, which he has saved. At E 22 south of Kalmar his asphalt mix is now being paved out and it will obviously end up on many more Swedish roads since the Road Authority has acquired a license for his recipes.

– Yes, the texture becomes smoother on the road with this asphalt and thus life cycle increases, says Henrik Hamrin, project manager at the Swedish Road Authorities.

With the Kuwaiti mixture the roads only needs to be paved at a rate of maximum five times in a hundred years, assures Gunnar Ohlson. It is cheaper for the society – but perhaps not as profitable for road builders, he implies.

– There is a certain reluctance to increase the life of the road pavings as you understand, he says.

It has also taken a long time for his asphalt mix, called KGO after his initials Karl Gunnar Ohlson, to get a break through. But now the Swedish Road Authorities has concluded that the mixture becomes about 10 kr cheaper per square meter. Thus we want the contractors make use of it.

– I think we will see it more and more, says Henrik Hamrin at the Swedish Road Authorities.

By Lisa Ovesen


SKÅNSKAN.SE 4 May 2012
Now it’s finally developing for Karl Gunnar Ohlson’s new asphalt. After several years of research, doctoral and great experience his asphalt began to be used in 1998. Now he has signed a new licensing agreement with the Swedish Road Authorities, using his asphalt KGOIII for coating E22 south of Kalmar.

– If the whole of Sweden would start using my asphalt we could save a billion SEK per year, said Karl Gunnar Ohlson that, after many years, is able to see an opening for his invention.

His asphalt is produced at lower temperatures, lasts longer and requires less bitumen. At a production of six million tonnes per year, as the Swedish production is, Karl Gunnar Ohlson calculate that the savings of his KGOIII method could be over a billion SEK.

Karl Gunnar Ohlsson got an education as an engineer in Sweden and worked for five years with asphalt gravel roads in the regions Kronoberg and Skåne. After that he headed first to Uganda and Tanzania and then to Kuwait. It was in the early 70’s and there was a great need for roads. But the problem in Kuwait was that the stone stripped. The asphalt was too dry and did not stick, which is needed for a intact paving.

Karl Gunnar Ohlson studied how to ensure stickiness and change the blending process. After two years, he patented his invention. The asphalt is named after Karl Gunnar Ohlson, KGO, and has been used in Germany for 20 years. But he had to develop the product to become universal and fit all asphalt plants. Over the years he has continued to develop its innovation and in 2011 he patented KGOIII. It is now used in the Kalmar region for the road E22.
Being alone in developing a product and having to resist pressure from different associations has been difficult.
– But I have never lost my self-esteem, said Karl Gunnar, because I knew that everything is based on experience. But it’s been sad to have to fight so hard for many years.

Now the Swedish Road Authorities is licensed to use Karl Gunnar Ohlsons asphalt, and he hopes that it will now become more and more roads that will have the KGOIII paving.
– My research is complete now, he says. The product has gone from theory to practice, and the result is exactly by the theory.

The project leader Henrik Hamrin on the Swedish Road Authorities is satisfied with the work on the E22, which ends next week.
– We gain both in the environmental aspect and get cheaper production costs, so now it should take off for KGO III.
– We have finally come to a licensing agreement that allows us to be free to order the KGOIII paving now. This kind of thing takes time, many do not dare to take a chance, but now I am certain that the demand for KGOIII will increase. We are very pleased with the results, says Henrik Hamrin.

By Susanne Gäre


SMP.SE 8 August 2012
The road No. 25 is getting a face lift. The worn road is repaired by a new type of road paving, which lasts 30 percent longer than conventional asphalt. -The savings are very substantial with this option, said Karl Gunnar Ohlson who developed the method for producing the paving.

SMP (Smålandsposten) have previously written about how highway 25, and perhaps especially the section between Växjö and Hovmantorp, has had major concerns with potholes and damage. But these problems could soon be a thing of the past when a new pavement is being laid.
– This paving do not form any tracks. It does not separate, as conventional pavings do after a few years. After four or five years, the roads are worn, but repairing is not an option as it’s too expensive. The KGOIII paving lasts much longer and we are not talking about a small difference, said Karl Gunnar Ohlson.

Karl Gunnar Ohlson is the man behind the paving on the road, which is produced by Skanska in Växjö. The paving and method for producing asphalt is named after him, and is known as KGO III.
– We have had three generations of KGO asphalt mixes. We started with the KGO-I and has developed it in two stages. It is difficult to explain technical, but it is about the mixture and how to mix, said Karl Gunnar Ohlson.
The coating KGO-III has so far only been used in Sweden, but Karl Gunnar Ohlson says that it hopes to pass it on. In Växjö has been visited by both American and Latvian professors who have an interest in the asphalt.
– You make very substantial savings with this option. If one were to use this paving in Sweden it is estimated that it would save millions of dollars per year, says Karl Gunnar Ohlson.
This type of construction is even better environmentally than other asphalt is.
– There is a lower temperature in the manufacture and less oil. As this coating is better both environmentally and economically. The best part is that it keeps much better. It has a 30 percent longer life.

The work environment for asphalt pavers at Skanska also improves with the new asphalt.
– Smoke is reduced, that is what we notice most about this newpaving. The KGOIII method is more health-friendly, making the work more favorably for us, said Patrick Juhlin at Skanska.
His colleague Peter Andersson adds:
– It is so much better with KGOIII, in comparison to when there is lot of smoke – it makes a lot of difference for us.
18 km new road is being paived and the work on route 25 is expected to be completed during the week.

By Michelle Hallberg


Gunnar Olsson has, during almost four decades, developed a new environmentally friendly asphalt. His market is getting bigger – and royalties are increasing.

500 000 tons of asphalt have so far been produced by Gunnar Ohlsson’s method. His company gets five SEK of royalty per tonne.
– I took out a patent on the method directly, says Gunnar Ohlsson to Dagens Industri.

His goal is that one million tons, out of the five-six million tons of asphalt produced in Sweden every year, should be produced with his method, called KGOIII.

NCC and Peab has adopted method, and now Mr Ohlson is waiting for manufacture in Germany and possibly the United States.

The asphalt is said to have 30 percent longer life than conventional asphalt. The method is based on the coarse material is mixed with binder bitumen. Only then the gravel and sand is poured in.

By Fredrik Karlsson