Road maintenance firm opens UK’s most carbon-efficient asphalt plant

Transport infrastructure company FM Conway has upped its commitment to reduce carbon emissions in London and embrace the circular economy business model with what it claims to be 'the UK's most carbon-efficient asphalt plant' in Heathrow.

The £10m Heathrow Asphalt production and recycling plant has a production capacity of around 300 tonnes per hour, with the capability to use over 90% recycled materials. Asphalt – a key component of road construction – has high volumes of embedded carbon, but can in theory be infinitely recycled. 

FM Conway has strategically positioned the site at the opposite end of London to its other asphalt plant in Erith; to help reduce the number of miles materials have to travel to reach its projects.

The new plant was officially opened earlier this month by Transport for London (TfL) director of asset management Dana Skelley, who said FM Conway is helping TfL to meet London’s needs for well-maintained, low-carbon roads.

“What we’re seeing is FM Conway demonstrating that they are more than just a contractor – they are committed to the circular economy and to creating a better environment in London,” Skelley told a crowd of over 200 industry leaders from the construction and transport sectors.

“Heathrow Asphalt is helping London’s economic growth, supporting 65 new local jobs; it ensures efficiency in delivery and therefore value for local authorities across London; and it demonstrates a commitment to lowering the carbon footprint of our roads through effective planning and recycling.”

Circular thinking

Heathrow Asphalt is the second asphalt plant FM Conway has opened in three years, after the opening of its Erith facility in 2011. Both plants are among the most efficient in Europe and combined have the capacity to produce more than 700,000 tonnes of asphalt per year. The two plants increase FM Conway’s supply capacity and allows the company to self-deliver materials to projects across London and the South East. 

Writing exclusively for edie this week, FM Conway’s chief executive Michael Conway revealed that the company has invested £35m over the past five years developing its own recycling and manufacturing plants, with environmental sustainability proving ‘incredibly important’ for its business partners.

“All of our clients – both private and public sector – are more focused than ever before on the environmental impact of their own business and that of their supply chain,” writes Conway. “Increasingly, we are seeing waste and resource management credentials as carefully scrutinised as costs.”

Read the exclusive FM Conway circular economy case study here.

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