In March 2019, Eurovia officially opened it's new Polymer Modified Bitumen and Emulsion plant in Thurrock; PolyBitumens. This new plant will supplement and increase our capability to self-deliver products supporting our operating businesses nationwide through a ‘self delivery’ model.
The new plant will provide material support to our Asphalt and Specialist Treatment activities within the UK. Using our unique access to global innovation and best practice, through JLUK and our shareholders, PolyBitumens will maximise opportunities to bring new exciting products into the UK market place.
The Member of Parliament for Thurrock, Jackie Doyle-Price, has today officially opened PolyBitumens, the new state-of-the-art production plant in Thurrock, which represents a £7.0m investment by Eurovia UK to improve the long-term sustainability and resilience of the UK highway network.
This multi-million-pound capital investment into the UK’s highway network will produce Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB) and polymer modified emulsions for high performance surface treatments. It has been developed using internationally recognised, innovative processes and the technical expertise of UK laboratory, Jean Lefebvre, to produce materials that will prolong the lifespan of highway assets.
The production of material in Thurrock, to be used on various road improvement schemes in southern England, the Home Counties and in Greater London, will reduce the dependency on the long-distance transportation of PMB and emulsion products from plants in the North West of England. This will save an estimated 470,000 vehicles miles each year, helping to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, supporting the Government in achieving its objectives as set out in the 2019 Clean Air Strategy, which was launched in January.
Jackie Doyle-Price MP officially opened the innovative plant this morning (6.3.19), in Thurrock, Essex, when she was given a tour around the facility, which is the most automated polymer modified bitumen and emulsion plant in Europe and is the biggest ever single capital expenditure project by Eurovia UK. The MP was shown how PolyBitumens uses Lean, ‘white factory’ processes to improve efficiency and product quality, while maximising digital ordering and logistics to support ‘just-in-time’ delivery, which minimises waste.
Minister of State for the Department for Transport, Jesse Norman MP, hailed PolyBitumens as “exactly the kind of investment we need in this really strategic industry for our country.”
He added: “The idea that it’s going to be producing a road surface that is more resilient, quieter, harder wearing and more durable for our drivers and for road users, and for our infrastructure creators around the country is better still.”
Safety has been the most important consideration in the design of the facility – this type of plant traditionally uses dirty and dangerous processes. Using automation, this plant provides a pleasant working environment that segregates people and machines, limiting the exposure of our employees to potential hazards.
Paul Goosey, Managing Director – Eurovia Production, said: “Myself and the PolyBitumens team are delighted that the Member of Parliament for Thurrock has officially opened the plant today. We are looking forward to delivering our innovative products across the region, strengthening the highway network and delivering value for money for our clients.”
Scott Wardrop, Eurovia UK Chief Executive, said: “This facility will enable us to utilise innovative processes from the US and Europe, along with our own UK R&D, to deliver more effective, sustainable and whole life pavement solutions for our highway improvement and reconstruction projects in the UK. This investment is part of our ongoing commitment to delivering excellent highway services, by local people, for local people. It is further evidence of the way that we differentiate ourselves by innovation through our services.”
The new bespoke Mobile Storage Tank is part of a £750,000 investment by PolyBitumens into its fleet during the next two years. The tank has been designed specifically to a reduced width of 2.55m so that it can be legally driven on the UK road network with no requirements for a restricted movement order. The first purpose built Mobile Storage tank was collected on 2nd July 2019 and is the first in the UK that has been successfully IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) approved.
An additional two further tanks will be completed and ready for collection in July 2019, with further additional investments in more units planned for later this year.
These new mobile storage tanks will support the Specialist Treatments operations and other clients, providing storage capacity for emulsions that will allow our teams to deliver high volume outputs throughout the country.
The new designed units can store up to 55,000 litres of emulsion per unit. They are also fitted with state-of-the-art technology that will allow the tracking of material volumes within the units, which can be monitored remotely from the PolyBitumens plant. This will allow PolyBitumens to support and manage Production and Stock Control more efficiently, as well as improving the Scheduling of Deliveries in the future.
Paul Goosey, Eurovia Production Managing Director, said: “The Mobile Storage tanks represent a continued investment at our new PMB and Emulsion facility and continues to develop our offerings to enhance our PolyBitumens fleet. This will support our emulsion and bitumen deliveries for our internal contracts and offer a function not currently provided elsewhere within the industry.
“Having the first ‘Road Legal’ unit that can be easily manoeuvred around the country will allow our PolyBitumens and Specialist Businesses to remain agile and flexible to accommodate our service delivery requirements.”
Opened in early 2019, the state-of-the-art PolyBitumens facility produces PMB and bitumen emulsions for high performance surface treatments. The products made at PolyBitumens are used on various road improvement schemes across southern England and the UK more widely, limiting dependency on plants in north-western England, and drastically reducing annual vehicle miles.
The PMB storage tank and the raw bitumen storage tank, with 100t and 94t capacities respectively, were expertly designed in France by Thermaflu and brought across the Channel by lorry. In a week that saw snow, strong arctic winds and sub-zero temperatures hit eastern England, the tanks and their access platforms were carefully lifted into place by two cranes working in tandem: the main crane, with a lifting capacity of 160t, carried most of the weight, whilst the tailing crane provided stability when lifting the tanks off each lorry from a horizontal to a vertical position.
Paul Kimber, Divisional Manager – PolyBitumens, said: “Given the snow we had earlier in the week, we were worried that the installation might be delayed. It is testament to the planning and great work of our team, plus the professionalism of the crane operators that everything went as smoothly as it did. The tanks are an important investment in the future development of our business; the enhanced storage capacity will ensure we are ready to support the renewed focus on investment in infrastructure as we come out of this pandemic.”
Paul Goosey, Managing Director – Eurovia Production, said: “The installation of new storage tanks greatly expands our production capabilities, ensuring that we continue to provide innovative products that support the delivery of excellent highway services across the region. Congratulations to everyone involved in the robust planning and implementation that made the tank installation a success, in spite of the challenging cold and windy weather.”