Boral Asphalt Alstonville
498 Gap Road
Alstonville NSW 2477
Boral 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 across the North Coast region.
Operated since the 1970s, 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 Ballina Bypass and Tintenbar to Ewingsdale sections.
The Boral Alstonville Asphalt Plant is located within the confines of the Tuckombil Quarry on Gap Road at the north-eastern edge of the Alstonville township.
The plant is sited on a leased portion of land at the front of the quarry, which itself is owned by Ballina Shire Council.
Operations at the asphalt plant began in 1978. The main purpose of the facility is to produce asphalt materials for road and other surfacing projects across the Northern Rivers and other North Coast locations.
Asphalt production makes use of aggregates produced 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.
The asphalt is then conveyed by truck directly to the work sites at which it is needed.
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.
The plant's most prominent contributions have included supplying the Ballina Bypass and Tintenbar to Ewingsdale sections of the highway, both of which are now open to traffic.
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 employment for up to 35 Boral employees and contractors, all of whom reside in the Ballina, Byron and Lismore regions.
The Boral Alstonville Asphalt plant occupies land within the Tuckombil Quarry. The quarry is owned by Ballina Shire Council.
The asphalt plant site is leased by Boral from Ballina Council. Boral's current lease concludes at the end of 2020.
The Boral 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 Boral Alstonville Asphalt 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 isnot 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, Boral agreed to place forward notice of any planned use of the '24 hour' provisions.
Reporting and Public Documents
In many cases, the planning consents to which Boral's operational sites are managed require various reporting to be compiled, and documentation to be made publicly available.
At times, the site may also voluntarily report information about its operations and environmental performance.
The Boral Alstonville Asphalt Plant does not have any current compulsory obligations in this regard.
However, any information of this type which Boral believes is valuable to share with the wider community will be published on this page.
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.
The Boral Alstonville Asphalt plant produces a range of asphalt products for use on roads and other surfaced spaces around the Northern Rivers and North Coast regions.
The sole product of the Boral Alstonville Asphalt plant is asphalt for road and other surfacing applications.
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.
Boral Alstonville Asphalt has been producing materials for road and other surfacing projects since the late 1970s.
Although the technology associated with production has improved markedly over this time, the basic production process has remained largely the same.
- Feeding the plant - the aggregates are transferred from stockpiles at the western end of the site by a front end loader and placed into storage bins. They are then transferred into the plant via conveyor.
- Drying - the aggregates enter the plant's drum dryer where moisture is removed using heated air. This process produces steam which is emitted through the plant's stack.
- Coating - the heated aggregates leave the drum dryer and enter a mixer where they are combined with the 'fillers' and coated in bitumen.
- Pug mill - the mixture is then rotated in a 'pug mill' to produce the final asphalt.
- Transport - the required amount of asphalt is discharged from the plant via a loading chute. The hot asphalt product is then taken directly to the customer's work site - it must remain at between 150 and 180 degrees Celsius to be successfully placed (or laid).
After Hours Production
As part of the Boral Alstonville Asphalt 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' operation are as follows:
- Thursday 15 March 2018
- Friday 16 March 2018
The movement of materials is a critical part of Boral's business. As with many large organisations, the ability to transfer volumes of raw resources and finished products is essential to the company's success.
To meet its needs, Boral operates a significant fleet of heavy vehicles and is a customer of a range of haulage contractors across Australia.
Boral recognises the safety obligations accompanying the large scale use of heavy vehicles on public roads.
The business tries to ensure the highest standards of driving and vehicle maintenance are obtained to meet this objective.
We encourage all members of the community to give us feedback if they observe behaviour or incidents not aligning with this goal.
Specifics such as time, location, vehicle registration and colour help us to further investigate and take appropriate action.
Community Day 2016
Following a planning modification process undertaken by Boral for the plant during 2016, a 'community day' was organised to allow local residents to become more familiar with the site.
The event was held on 3 November and was attended by around 40 of the site's neighbours over two sessions. Earlier in the day, 10 representatives from Ballina Shire Council attended a separate briefing.
Bringing people onto the site allowed for many of the questions community members had about the site to be answered.
Boral was also able to gather a range of invaluable feedback from residents about their experiences of the site, and expectations regarding its performance in future.
From Boral's perspective, the event was highly successful. Accordingly, consideration is being given to arranging a further activity for later in 2017.
Wherever Boral operates, it seeks to add to the social and economic life of the community. One way we do this is through contributing materials and other resources to community-driven projects.
At Boral Alstonville Asphalt, these projects have included the construction of the new Ballina Marine Rescue tower.
In use since October 2016, the tower plays a critical role in ensuring the local marine community can navigate local waters safely.
The plant supplied the surfacing solutions for the tower's access road and car park. Rock from the Boral Teven Quarry was also used in the project.
Asphalt in your Community
Boral Asphalt has produced an updated 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 via the here.
We welcome your comments and feedback about any topic relating to Boral Alstonville Asphalt. For general enquiries, please contact:
Boral Alstonville Asphalt
Gap Road, Alstonville NSW 2477
Ph: 02 6628 0725
Plant Manager - Asphalt (North Coast)
Ph: 02 6628 0725 or 0421 044 420
Environment Advisor (Northern NSW)
Ph: 0401 892 133