Alex Fraser asphalt plant leads to greener roads and rail

December 14, 2023

Waste Management Review explores Alex Fraser’s newest asphalt plant.

Alex Fraser’s $15 million state-of-the-art asphalt plant in Epping was commissioned in early 2023. Built alongside the recycler’s 800,000 tonnes per annum C&D recycling facility, the new asphalt plant is the finishing touch to the company’s second Sustainable Supply Hub – a fully integrated facility providing Melbourne’s construction industry with the complete suite of high-recycled materials to build greener roads and rail. 

The newly commissioned asphalt plant, designed and supplied by Benninghoven, is producing high-recycled, sustainable asphalt – diverting tonnes of waste from landfills and generating more than 30 new local jobs. 

“This new plant is already providing Victoria’s infrastructure projects with a reliable supply of quality, recycled materials,” says Peter Murphy, Alex Fraser Managing Director. “Our latest asphalt plant has been specially designed to maximise sustainability outcomes. It can produce high-recycled content asphalt mixes containing up to 70 per cent recycled materials, including reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), glass sand, recycled tyre products, and plastics.” 

The journey so far

Constructed beside its sister plant – a high-volume construction and demolition recycling facility – the production facilities work in tandem to recycle demolition materials into quality construction materials such as roadbase, aggregates and asphalt. Together, they have created a world-class, integrated, sustainable materials supply hub, further increasing recycling capability and accessibility to sustainable products for Victoria’s Big Build. 

In addition to the 800,000-tonne capacity of the recycling plant, the new asphalt plant produces up to 350,000 tonnes of Green Roads Asphalt per annum. That makes ‘The Hub’ one of the biggest producers of recycled construction materials in Melbourne’s north. 

The supply of high-recycled asphalt to the Sunbury Road project helped reduce the use of natural resources and the project’s carbon footprint.

It’s an ideally located source of the recycled roadbase, aggregates, sand and asphalt needed for municipal works throughout Hume, Banyule, and Whittlesea municipalities. It also makes the site perfect for local Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) and major road projects such as Sunbury Road and Epping Road. 

“Facilities like these play an important role in reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfill and enable the practical implementation of initiatives like Victoria’s Recycled First Policy,” Peter says.

 Supporting sustainability 

Civil construction contractors are using Alex Fraser’s Northern Sustainable Supply Hub to source the full range of Green Roads Construction Materials to help achieve the sustainability targets on their projects. 

Alex Fraser continues to experience strong demand for its sustainable construction materials from major projects, having supplied more than 465,000 tonnes of its Green Roads products to Victoria’s Big Build in the past year.

As well as supplying to a wide range of existing projects, the recycled asphalt, roadbase, and aggregates produced at the new ‘hub’ is ideally positioned to support future projects to achieve their infrastructure sustainability targets, such as the Northeast Link and surrounding level crossing removals. 

Sunbury Road

The Sunbury Road Upgrade, by Major Road Projects Victoria, has resurfaced road sections between Bulla-Diggers Rest Road and Jackson’s Creek. The new road contains up to 40 per cent recycled materials – diverting more than 18,000 tonnes of waste from landfill. Major Road Projects Victoria estimated that 10 Victorian jobs are created for every 10,000 tonnes of waste material kept out of landfill. That will lead to about 3900 jobs over the next decade.

The Green Roads Asphalt used to pave Sunbury Road was produced nearby at Alex Fraser’s northern Sustainable Supply Hub and incorporates more than 20 million recycled glass bottles and reclaimed asphalt pavement, reducing carbon emissions by 585,000 kilograms. 

“The Sunbury Road Upgrade is the latest example of how Victoria is finding practical ways to use recycled products in volume to build quality, greener infrastructure,” Peter says.

Future of the facility

A further $13 million upgrade is underway at Alex Fraser’s existing recycling facility. The goal is to improve processing efficiency and enable mass recycling of reclaimed asphalt pavement. This new high-capacity recycling facility will be responsible for feeding the new asphalt plant; helping to ensure it achieves the maximum throughput and consistently high-quality asphalt products.

Alex Fraser is well known for its world-class environmental management and operating standards. As a leader in the production of sustainable construction materials they dedicated to maintaining operational excellence on every site to ensure only positive impacts on the communities they reside in. 

Awarded by the Clean Air Society for their air quality management approach, Peter says Alex Fraser applies the same principles to managing its sites’ buffers, acoustics, biodiversity, water and energy use, safety, and traffic management in and around its facilities.  

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