Asphalt Cold Mix Ltd was established in 1922. The company then patented and introduced the Cold Spray process. In 1925 two English companies Asphalt Cold Mix Ltd merged with a company called Colas Mix Manufacturing Ltd to form Colas Product Ltd to supply the expanding market for bitumen emulsions for use on roads in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State
Initially sourcing lake asphalt fromTrinidad, the emulsion industry began to source petroleum based bitumen thanks to the British Refinery Development which formed after the war.
This process resulted in oil companies identifying opportunities to dispose distillation by-products. In 1929 Shell one of the major suppliers of oil, acquired the Colas Product Ltd trademark.
The Colas Group developed during the 20th Century under Shell and grew considerably due to the acquisitions and diversification which took place in the 1980's. In 1980, Shell Composites and Colas (UK) merged which marked a rapid expansion with the acquisition of the minority shareholding in the subsidiaries in the Republic of Ireland and Allmacadams Ltd, Kings Asphalt Ltd, Glossop PLC and Highland Bitumens Ltd. To accommodate this growth the Group underwent a further corporate reorganisation in 1985 resulting in the formation of two new companies Colas Roads Ltd and Colas Building Products Ltd. The acquisition of Prismo Ltd and their French associate Greggory SA, subsequently re-named Prosign followed in 1986. On January 1st 1987 Colas Products changed its name to Colas Holdings Ltd, Group turnover having grown from £38m in 1980 to £123m in 1986.
The constant organisational restructure and changes within Shell, had an immediate impact on the Colas group, the most significant of these changes resulted in Colas Ltd being founded on 11th September 1991. The core activities then, included emulsion production and road surfacing. In 1995 Colas Ltd entered the Colas SA Group.
Since 1995 Colas has steadily grown its business within various highway maintenance and civil engineering market sectors and currently manage and operate its business from various locations throughout the UK. Over twenty strategically located depots, quarries, contracting and production establishments allow the company to gain maximum coverage for its extensive range of activities.