Darryl Byrne of Roadworx has been involved in the purchase of multiple asphalt plants during his career. Recently, he had the added pressure of environmental regulators and residents keeping a close watch.
“We didn’t rush the decision,” Byrne said. He’s the general manager of Roadworx, an Australian provider of road maintenance services with headquarters in Sydney. “It took us years to do our research.”
The efforts paid off. In November 2015, Roadworx commissioned a new Ammann ABA 180 UniBatch asphalt mixing plant in Wollongong, about an hour south of Sydney. For more than 20 years, Roadworx has prided itself on delivering infrastructure solutions to local councils, government departments, and public and private companies.
The UniBatch plant provided all the environmental features Roadworx needed, including an ability to use recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) and options that reduce noise and odor.
That mattered because the plant was being located in an area where many eyes would be watching.
“Australia is quite onerous when it comes to environmental standards,” Byrne said. Further complicating the situation was another operational plant nearby, built by another manufacturer. Surrounding residents and other community members had concerns about the combined air and noise emissions from having two plants in close proximity.
Roadworx had an answer to every question the residents and authorities asked. “We had to make sure we did everything we could to minimize the impact,” Byrne said. “We put most of the optional features we could on the UniBatch plant.”
Noise mitigation systems were used, including installation of an Ammapax Stack Silencer. Additional cladding helped further reduce noise and created an appealing look, too.
“We monitor the noise, and the levels are very, very good,” Byrne said.
Odor was another challenge. “We put the blue smoke extraction system in place throughout the plant,” Byrne said. The system routes any smoke and odor through the baghouse for filtration.
“Odor is extremely minimal on the site,” Byrne said. “Even the bitumen tank farm has no odor.”
Another environmental nod was the use of the as1 EcoView system, which is proprietary Ammann operating software that monitors the energy consumption of the entire plant, including fuel and electricity.
“The energy figures we get out of the plant are very good and better than expected,” Byrne said. “We can really fine-tune a lot of the plant settings to minimize energy consumption.”
The features have made a big difference. “We’re producing a quality product, which our customers are extremely pleased about,” Byrne said. “We’re getting good numbers in terms of fuel through the burner and energy consumption. The plant itself has been running extremely well, and the noise and odor are not issues…”