Boral Asphalt Alstonville
Boral's Alstonville Asphalt Plant has been supplying the Northern Rivers and North Coast regions of NSW with road surfacing materials since 1978.
498 Gap Road
Alstonville NSW 2477
About Boral Asphalt Alstonville
Alstonville Asphalt is Boral's most northerly asphalt production facility in NSW.
Situated at the edge of the Northern Rivers town of Alstonville, it provides asphalt surfacing products which are used across the North Coast region.
Operated since 1978, the plant has made important contributions over many years to major highway and local road projects. Among the most significant of these is the supply of materials to Pacific Highway upgrade projects, including the now open Ballina Bypass, and Tintenbar to Ewingsdale sections.
The plant is located within the confines of the Tuckombil Quarry on Gap Road, at the north-eastern edge of the Alstonville township. It is sited on a leased portion of land at the front of the quarry, which itself is owned by Ballina Shire Council.
The Alstonville Asphalt plant is operated to an approval granted by Ballina Shire Council in March 1995. The consent (DA 1995/127) sets out the operating and environmental conditions the plant must comply with throughout its operational life. Subsequent to 1995, Boral has received approval for four modifications to the original consent. You can read through the consolidated consent documentation here.
Activities at the plant generally only take place between 6am and 6pm Monday to Saturday. The plant's conditions of consent, however, do allow for operations to be conducted across 24 hour periods up to 60 days each year. When this provision is being used, there can be no more than four consecutive days of 24 hour operations.
Boral also has the ability to apply to do 'emergency works' at any time. Approval must be gained from both Ballina Shire Council and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) . 'Emergency works' may include Sundays and public holidays. The plant is not permitted to conduct 'normal' or 24 hour operations on Sundays or public holidays unless as part of 'emergency works'.
After discussion with the community during 2016, we agreed to place forward notice of any planned use of the '24 hour' provisions on this website - see After Hours Production.
Operations at Alstonville Asphalt began in 1978. Production makes use of aggregates made from rock at the Tuckombil Quarry, as well as nearby sources such as the Boral Teven Quarry and Blakebrook Quarry as specifications require.
The plant uses a 'drum dryer' to dry the aggregates before they are combined with bitumen and 'fillers' to produce 'hot mix' asphalt. This drying process creates steam which is vented to the atmosphere via the plant's stack.
The asphalt is then conveyed by truck directly to the work sites at which it is needed. It must remain at between 150 and 180 degrees Celsius to be successfully 'placed'.
The plant is able to produce up to 100 000 tonnes of asphalt each year for customers. However, for most of the site's operational life, the plant has averaged 50 000 tonnes per year of production.
In recent years, the Alstonville Asphalt plant has been a vital component in the delivery of the ongoing Pacific Highway upgrade projects being implemented throughout the region.
Asphalt from the plant has also been used extensively for roads in the many new residential subdivisions developed throughout the region during the 2000s and 2010s.
Today the Alstonville Asphalt facility provides jobs for up to 35 Boral employees and contractors, all of whom reside in the Ballina, Byron and Lismore regions.
The main elements of asphalt manufacture at Alstonville are quarry aggregates (crushed rock and 'fines', also known as 'dust'), bitumen and 'fillers' (such as lime).
The Alstonville Asphalt plant makes use of aggregates sourced from the Tuckombil Quarry in which it is situated. Aggregates are also sourced from other locations in order to meet the specifications of customers.
For example, aggregates from Boral's Teven Quarry will be used when asphalt is being produced for the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).
This is because the quality of the rock at Teven meets the exacting standards the RMS sets for major highway works.
The bitumen used at the Alstonville site is sourced from oil refiners in both NSW and Queensland. Bitumen is a sticky black by-product of the petroleum manufacturing process.
Often both the bitumen and asphalt end-product are mistakenly referred to as 'tar'. Before the 1980s, tar derived from coal was often used to make asphalts and so the 'tar' name became common.
Today's asphalts, however, use bitumen as a much safer alternative for worker health. Coal-tar based asphalt is specifically excluded from modern asphalt production and recycling processes.
After Hours Production and Contact
As part of the Boral Asphalt Alstonville planning consent, the plant is permitted to operate across a 24 hour period for a limited number of days per year.
The next planned 'after hours' operations are as follows:
- Tuesday, 19 March 2019
- Wednesday, 20 March 2019
- Thursday, 21 March 2019
- Friday, 22 March 2019
If you have any concerns, or wish to register your comments with our team during the above times or at any point we are operating, you can phone the site on 6628 0725. You can also contact 0427 601 118 - this number is attended 24 hours a day.
Asphalt In Your Community
Boral Asphalt has produced an information brochure for sharing within the communities in which it operates.
The brochure provides a simple overview of the asphalt production process, as well as states Boral's position on environmental and health issues associated with asphalt. You can download a copy of the brochure here.