Alex Fraser’s Answer to Sustainable Roads

November 16, 2021

Epping Asphalt Akshay and Kate Scale Model

Roads & Infrastructure Magazine spoke to Alex Fraser Senior Project Manager Akshay Kumar about the upcoming launch of its new Sustainable Supply Hub in Melbourne’s North.

Alex Fraser is renewing its commitment to sustainable infrastructure with the upcoming launch of its second Sustainable Supply Hub in Melbourne. Roads & Infrastructure reports.

Alex Fraser is preparing to launch a second Sustainable Supply Hub in Melbourne’s north, increasing its capacity to supply sustainable construction material to the civil construction market.

The company’s first fully integrated Sustainable Supply Hub opened in 2019, bringing together three sustainable production facilities on its Laverton site in Melbourne’s west. This Hub now annually recycles more than one million tonnes of diverse, priority waste streams into high quality, sustainable end products needed for infrastructure development.

Established in 1879, Alex Fraser is one of Melbourne’s longest running companies. Starting with metals trading and scrap metal recovery, the company has innovated and honed its recycling capabilities over the years.

Today, Alex Fraser is renowned as a leading provider of sustainable construction materials, with a network of recycling and production facilities in Melbourne and Brisbane.

To date, the company has recovered more than 150 million tonnes of refuse concrete, brick, and asphalt, and more than 5.4 billion bottles worth of kerbside glass waste. These materials have been diverted from landfill and manufactured into high-quality, sustainable products used to build new infrastructure, like roads, bridges, pavements, and ports.

Akshay Kumar, Senior Project Manager at Alex Fraser says the company’s new development in Melbourne’s north follows the success of its first Sustainable Supply Hub in the western suburbs. A new asphalt plant is being constructed alongside the Epping Recycling Facility, transforming it into a Sustainable Supply Hub that builds on Alex Fraser’s Green Roads concept.

Alex Fraser Project Managers Akshay Kumar and Kate Lynch at work on the new build that’s set to launch Alex Fraser’s next Sustainable Supply Hub.

“Co-located at our Epping Recycling Facility, our new asphalt plant is ideally placed to service Melbourne’s northern growth corridor, where there is a good mix of industrial and residential development, along with a strong infrastructure pipeline and a consistent demand for road maintenance,” he says.

“The Sustainable Supply Hub in Epping will provide customers working on projects in the northern suburbs improved access to a reliable supply of high-quality and highly sustainable asphalt, aggregates, roadbase and sand that comply with the VicRoads specification,” he adds.

Certified sustainability

The new asphalt plant will be capable of producing high volumes of Green Roads asphalt products – a range of asphalt mixes containing up to 50 per cent recycled content including reclaimed asphalt products (RAP), recycled glass sand and recycled plastics.

The products’ sustainability benefits are further improved with Alex Fraser’s warm mix technology, producing the Green Roads’ products with a significantly reduced carbon footprint (resulting in emission reduction of up to 66 per cent). These Green Roads products have also been tested by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA), ensuring that they meet the highest standard for construction material quality.

The new asphalt production facility will have the capacity to produce more than 240 tonnes of sustainable asphalt per hour, incorporating up to 50 per cent recycled content, which Kumar says reflects Alex Fraser’s commitment to sustainability. The plant will also support Alex Fraser’s parent company, HeidelbergCement, to realise its global sustainability commitments including the achievement of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, as recently announced by Chairman Dominik von Achten.

“This world class plant has been specifically designed to optimise energy efficiency; it has the capacity to run on gas or diesel, and it is capable of accommodating alternate fuels in the future, too,” Kumar explains.

Ensuring high standards

Compliance with strict environmental and safety controls are embedded in all Alex Fraser facilities, as Kumar points out.

The new asphalt plant is no exception, Kumar says, with the plant including a blue smoke filter system on material load out and an odour/fume filtration unit on bitumen tanks.

“Our production team ensures these environmental controls are constantly maintained and that the plants are continuously operating to the highest standard through the application of our strong internal systems and procedures,” he says.

“We are always looking for continuous improvement opportunities.”

As Kumar adds, this approach also extends to safety on site.

“Alex Fraser has a very high standard for equipment guarding and energy isolation. For example, all electrical zone isolation switches will be fitted with a REMLIVE indicator on both the line and load side of the isolator, which is above and beyond the minimum requirements stated in the AS3000.”

“Traffic management has been meticulously planned to consider heavy vehicles, pedestrian and mobile equipment interactions, even for those that only take place occasionally.”

Alex Fraser’s Epping Asphalt Plant is expected to be commissioned in late 2022, following the receipt of the first shipment of components in March this year.

Alex Fraser’s contribution

Kumar says the expansion of the Epping facility is set to round off Alex Fraser’s contribution to the sustainable construction material market in Victoria.

“Our focus is on ensuring that every customer working on a project  throughout Melbourne has easy access to our Green Roads construction products from our network of Sustainable Supply Hubs,” he says.

“Through a supply of quality, sustainable asphalt , aggregate, roadbase and sand to a multitude of projects, our Sustainable Supply Hub in Epping will directly contribute to the circular economy and help our customers to build better roads.”

This article was originally published in the November edition of Roads & Infrastructure Magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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