Super Asphalt Expands Asphalt Production South
BY Reliable Asphalt Products
By combining used and new plant equipment, Super Asphalt has expanded its Puerto Rican asphalt production business to the southernmost part of the island.
Miguel Suria, Super Asphalt’s operation manager, has been with the company from the beginning in 1999. Under his guidance, the island-based asphalt producer has grown to seven plants in the past 23 years. Suria came to Super Asphalt with a wealth of plant knowledge and experience. Over the years, he has often recommended that Super Asphalt purchase gently used equipment to meet their needs. For this plant project, Reliable Asphalt Products had a plant that met Super Asphalt’s requirements.
Mike Mauzy, co-owner of Reliable Asphalt Products, has worked with Super Asphalt in the past so he was familiar with their requirements. “As I was seeing customers, I had in the back of my mind the need for a plant to go to Puerto Rico. Once I saw this plant, I felt like Super Asphalt would like it too.”
The plant combined components from several manufacturers. It was equipped with a Cedarapids E-300 counterflow drum, a portable Madsen baghouse, a set of portable cold feed bins and a portable HyWay tank. The plant also had a silo system with more storage than Super Asphalt required.
Suria mentioned, “We didn’t need more than one silo, so we bought a new silo system instead of paying for the freight to move the system to Puerto Rico.”
Even though this plant was not complete, the components that were available met the needs of Super Asphalt. Suria travelled to inspect the equipment shortly after Mauzy sent him the pictures and information. “The equipment was good, and the price was good,” so Super Asphalt proceeded to purchase it.
Reliable Asphalt Products worked with the previous owner to dismantle the equipment and prepare it for shipment. Reliable also acquired another plant nearby and when Suria was in the states inspecting the equipment, he also inspected the other site and utilized some of that equipment for this plant.
Reliable assisted Super Asphalt by getting the equipment to the Port of Jacksonsville. From there, Super Asphalt utilized its in-house ocean bound freight specialist to get the equipment shipped to the island. When Suria was asked how hard it is to get equipment from the states to the island, he responded, “It’s not difficult at all, but expensive.”
Although the plant was nearly complete and in Puerto Rico, the facility still needed a control house with motor control center, a hot oil heater and plant automation. Super Asphalt and Mauzy worked together to complete the plant.
Reliable Asphalt Products located a used control house with a complete motor control center shortly after the rest of the components were shipped to the island.
“The used control house that Reliable found for us was an excellent option. I did not inspect it myself but got a good report from Reliable and this has worked out really well,” Suria said. Upon Reliable’s recommendation, Super Asphalt elected to purchase a MINDS automation system for this plant. Reliable also supplied Super Asphalt with a reconditioned hot oil heater to complete the plant. Although it is not currently equipped with a RAP system, there are plans to install a RAP system in the future, according to Suria.
Once the plant arrived in Puerto Rico, Super Asphalt began the permitting process. As is the case many times, this took longer than expected. Their site was prepared; however, the plant was not allowed to be erected until the permit was secured. Upon securing the permit, Suria, along with the team of Eduardo Enchautegui, plant superintendent, and Rawand Perez, plant operator, began the process of erecting the plant at the Penuelas, Puerto Rico, site.
Because these components were sourced from several locations and included some new components, installation of a plant like this can be tricky. In order to meet the permit requirements, Super Asphalt had to install two complete labs on site. According to Suria, “One is for us, and the other is for the Puerto Rico Highway Authority.”
Among his many talents, Suria is an electrical engineer. He installed the MINDS plant automation. Once he completed the plant and automation installation, Len Newton, Reliable Asphalt Products’ leading automation technician, arrived to commission the plant. According to Newton, “Miguel did an excellent job installing the MINDS system. Because of his good work, we were able to commission the plant in a very short time.”
The plant was installed very close to Super Asphalts’ liquid AC supplier and close to the job site that justified this plant purchase. After a cross country plant move, ocean bound shipping and a lengthy permitting process, Super Asphalt’s latest plant is in full operation. “Even though this is partly used, with the controls and the hard work of all those involved, we have something that we can be very proud of,” stated Suria.