When global equipment and manufacturing firm Wirtgen Group integrated the Benninghoven brand into its group of companies, its market offerings then formed the complete process in road construction.
From crushing and screening, to mixing, paving and compaction and finally, through to milling and recycling, the Wirtgen Group now offers services detailing all the core elements of asphalt road construction.
Like Wirtgen Group, Australasian infrastructure and construction company Fulton Hogan is a multifaceted service provider, offering services attaining to everything in the road construction, maintenance and management space.
“Fulton Hogan does everything from producing material at our asphalt plants, building roads, maintaining roads and so on. What we have is a full end-to-end market service and what we call a vertical infrastructure model,” explains Richard Pearson – General Manager Industries – Northern Region at Fulton Hogan.
“Wirtgen Group has the asphalt pavers, rollers, profilers, material transfer vehicles and plant technology that form the whole end-to-end process in the road construction equipment and manufacturing side of things. We see a lot of synergy between Fulton Hogan and Wirtgen Group as both companies control the whole end-to-end solution for our clients,” says Mr. Pearson.
That synergy was a major element behind Fulton Hogan’s decision to purchase its first fixed Benninghoven asphalt plant in Queensland.
A few years ago, Fulton Hogan began the process of investigating purchasing asphalt plants to bolster its Queensland operations.
“We went through quite a lengthy tender process, which took us outside of the national market. We investigated a range of different types of plants, including continuous mix, but we saw batch mix plants as having the best product outcomes for us.
“As a company, we’re trying to focus on our impact on the environment and energy savings, so we wanted technology with a specific focus on production efficiency, environmental controls and energy consumption,” says Mr. Pearson.
“We reviewed our options and what probably put Benninghoven over the line were small bolt-on applications to suit our operations. They were really appealing in the fact that their plants are very fit-for purpose.”
Fulton Hogan commissioned its first Benninghoven fixed, batch asphalt plant in Townsville at the end of 2015. In June last year, it commissioned its second Benninghoven plant in Narangba, north of Brisbane.
“We see the north of Brisbane as a growth area and Fulton Hogan is keen to make a generational investment in that area.
The Moreton Bay region is seeing a lot of developments, both commercial and residential, and through that we’re seeing a growth in market demand,” explains Mr. Pearson.
That demand is now being met by Fulton Hogan’s 180-tonne-per-hour Narangba plant, which, given the technological prowess of its first Benninghoven plant in the state, is built to the same specifications as its Townsville plant.
“We selected the same Benninghoven design for our Narangba site based on our experience with the previous plant, primarily because of the operational and environmental controls on the technology,” explains Mr. Pearson.
“The plant in Townsville remains one of the most technologically advanced asphalt plant in the country.”
Mr. Pearson says Fulton Hogan didn’t have much input into the actual design of the plant, as the existing technology on the standard plant was already hitting the mark.
“We wouldn’t say it was a custom build. It was largely a standard offering with a few little tweaks on it. We knew we were getting the most advanced plant technology we could, but the result exceeded our expectations.
“The design and build quality coming out of its Germany-based manufacturing facilities was second to none. The engineering is top class and the steel build is exceptionally good.
“The environmental and odour controls are big winners for us too,” he adds.
Robert Messner, Product Specialist at Benninghoven, says the coherence between the two companies during the purchasing, design and commissioning process was fantastic.
“The assembly process in conjunction with Fulton Hogan went without a hitch and they were producing mix right on time,” says Mr. Messner.
“Fulton Hogan engineers, working with our Wirtgen and Benninghoven engineers, were able to take advantage of the sloping site at Narangba to make the best use of space. This led to a very efficient load and truck movement plan, and the quality of the site works is a true credit to the Fulton Hogan team.”
From a technology viewpoint, Mr. Messner says the new Narangba plant features some of the most cutting-edge capabilities Benninghoven has to offer.
“The Narangba plant has some of the latest recycle injection technology. The Multivariable recycle system handles the mixing and dosing process with absolute precision. The BLS 3000 RAP GENERATOR program has the capability to adjust the aggregate quantities as needed to maintain perfect gradation in the RAP blend,” he explains.
“The added bonus of the Benninghoven plant is that all the aggregate material is heated, screened and sorted into its respective sizes. Therefore, to provide controlled gradation and in spec mix control, and change the mix design at any time without waste is possible.
“The plant can spring into maximum production right away to make almost any mix design using its on-board, preheated and insulated aggregate storage. It can also inject any additive and bitumen type, which is metered by weight – it is very versatile,” adds Mr. Messner.
Mr. Pearson says technological capabilities and output of Fulton Hogan’s Benninghoven asphalt plants will play a major role in the company’s generational investment in the Moreton Bay region over the next few decades.
“We’re already working in a multifaceted way with the plant as we have got significant construction works under way with TMR [the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads], capital works and projects with local councils, and the plant gives us a lot of flexibility in that,” he says.
“Fulton Hogan has over 40 asphalt plants across Australia and we continue to refresh our assets, so there will be ongoing conversations with Benninghoven and its parent company, Wirtgen Group, in the future.”