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Highways industry first for FM Conway

Gravesend bitumen terminal

Company expands its highways materials portfolio with new polymer-modified bitumen production facility

FM Conway have become the first highways materials manufacturers in the UK to produce their own polymer-modified bitumen. The new products support FM Conway’s growing asphalt manufacturing division, which supplies the company’s own contracting division and third party trade in London and southern England.

Polymer-modified bitumen (PMB) is added to asphalt mixes to improve the long-term performance of road materials. Thanks to their greater elasticity, asphalt mixes that contain PMB can significantly improve the durability of highways assets, providing greater resistance to rutting and cracking, and improved resilience to the impacts of changing weather patterns.

Commenting on the expansion of the company’s materials portfolio, FM Conway’s director of aggregates and asphalt, Tim Metcalf, said: ‘As a business, we’ve long championed the benefits of a self-delivery approach, manufacturing, supplying and laying our own materials on the local and strategic road networks to drive cost and time efficiencies for our clients.

‘The production of our own polymer-modified bitumen marks the next evolution of this model, allowing us to continue producing high-quality materials for the UK’s highways that meet the needs of roads users now and in the future.’      

He added: ‘FM Conway are committed to driving innovation in the highways sector. We’ll continue to explore how extending the use of PMB across all layers of our roads can support a more durable, whole-life approach to highways asset management and help us respond to industry challenges such as dealing with the effects of climate change.’ 

FM Conway say the development of their PMB plant is the result of a close collaboration with their chosen polymer suppliers, Kraton Polymers, and specialist plant equipment manufacturers Benninghoven. The materials will be manufactured at a newly opened facility at the company’s Gravesend bitumen terminal, in Kent. 

The production of PMB will complement FM Conway’s existing materials recycling and manufacturing capabilities. The company owns and operates six asphalt plants across London and the south of England, in addition to the Gravesend bitumen terminal and PMB production facility. 

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