History of Colas
In May 1922 a Canadian-born Scottish chemist, Hugh Alan McKay, filed arevolutionary patent for the Cold Spray process, which was the firstgenuinely usable bitumen emulsion.
Asphalt Cold Mix Limited was immediately set up in order to use theemulsion on roads, and the exclusive licence for France was awarded tothe Société Générale d’Entreprise in July 1924.
Between the wars, France urgently needed to pave its huge road networkin order to prevent rapid deterioration and combat the harmful effectsof dust. Black products (first made using tar, later using artificialbitumen) satisfied the two requirements of quality and price.
Bitumen emulsion was tremendously successful very soon, under the name of Colas,which was an abbreviation of COLd Asphalt, and a merger with the RoyalDutch Shell Ltd was necessary to finance this development, which led tothe creation of a joint subsidiary, which was given the name of Société Routière Colas.