PolyBitumens facility opens in Thurrock
New PMB plant represents £7million capital investment by Eurovia UK to enhance the UK’s highway network
THE Member of Parliament for Thurrock, Jackie Doyle-Price, today (6 March) officially opened PolyBitumens, a new state-of-the-art production plant that represents a £7 million 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.
The facility will use internationally recognized, innovative processes and the technical expertise of laboratory Jean Lefebvre (UK), to produce materials that will prolong the lifespan of highway assets.
The production of material in Thurrock, Essex, 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.
Eurovia UK say this will save an estimated 470,000 vehicles miles each year, helping to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and supporting the Government in achieving its objectives as set out in the 2019 Clean Air Strategy, which was launched in January.
The facility, which is said to be the most automated polymer-modified bitumen and emulsion plant in Europe, is the biggest ever single capital expenditure project by Eurovia UK.
During a tour of the plant, the Ms Doyle-Price was shown how PolyBitumens will utilize ‘lean’, ‘white factory’ processes to improve efficiency and product quality, whilst maximizing digital ordering and logistics to support ‘just-in-time’ delivery, which will minimize waste.
In a video message to guests, 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.’
According to Eurovia UK, safety was the most important consideration in the design of the facility. Using automation, the plant provides a pleasant working environment that segregates people and machines, limiting the exposure of employees to potential hazards.
Paul Goosey, managing director of Eurovia Production, said: ‘Both myself and the PolyBitumens team are delighted that the MP 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, chief executive of Eurovia UK, added: ‘This facility will enable us to utilize 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.’