JPE Investment provides evidence of a solution to UK aggregates shortages

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Courtesy of CDEnviro

An upgrade to the processing capability at Elford quarry to include a modular washing plant from CDE Global has resulted in a significant increase in the value of the products being produced. The level of demand for the recycled sand and aggregate products suggests that C&D recycling plants offer a real solution to a diminishing supply of virgin material in the UK.

JPE Aggregates has operated from Elford since 2005 when they purchased the site from Hanson. The business model that JPE Aggregates operate involves purchasing sites coming towards the end of their operating license and processing the materials that remain on site while also focusing on ensuring successful restoration of the site.

An upgrade to the West Coast Mainline only a few miles from Elford quarry provided JPE Aggregates with an outlet for the remaining river terrace gravels following the purchase from Hanson. “We supplied this material as construction fill on the embankment widening project being undertaken by Network Rail” explains John Hale, Technical Director at JPE Aggregates. “The requirements of the project allowed us to supply this material without any processing and allowed us to make significant progress with our plans for restoration at Elford.”

Following completion of the West Coast Mainline upgrade attention turned to  recycling material from the project and it was at this point that CDE became involved. “We took a large quantity of material back from the rail project which was waste from the service road that had been constructed under the new embankment to allow for HGV access” says John Hale.

When considering the options for a new washing plant for the waste material representatives from JPE Aggregates visited an CDE open day event in Ireland. This visit demonstrated how the M2500, Aggmax and Aquacycle combination could be used successfully in the processing of waste from the crushing plant operated by Gleeson Quarries. “We were impressed by the capability of the M2500 and Aggmax to produce high quality sand and aggregates from a waste material and immediately saw how the system could be applied at Elford quarry” explains Steven Birch, Managing Director of JPE Aggregates. “We had trialled another washing plant at the Elford site but decided that the CDE plant gave us the best opportunity to maximise both the volume and value of recoverable materials.”

The modular plant in operation at Elford includes the same equipment as was demonstrated at Gleeson Quarries with many additional features to allow for the effective processing of construction and demolition waste. The feed material is delivered to the M2500 mobile washing plant where an overband magnet on the feed conveyor allows for the removal of ferrous metals. Following this the material is delivered to an integrated double deck Prograde rinsing screen measuring 5m x 1.5m. The wire mesh screen media originally included on the top deck of the screen was replaced with rubber for JPE Aggregates while the bottom deck remained polyurethane. The +50mm oversize material is stockpiled before being introduced to a crushing circuit, the output of which is returned to the CDE washing plant.

The 5-50mm material is sent from the M2500 to the Aggmax while the -5mm material progresses to the Evowash sand washing plant integrated onto the M2500 chassis. In this instance the plant produces a single -5mm recycled washed concrete sand. “What struck us about the M2500 was that an awful lot of work happens in a very small area” explains Steven Birch of JPE Aggregates. “The integration of the feeding, screening, washing and stockpiling capability on the compact chassis minimises the space required on site to accommodate the wash plant and also minimises the time required for installation. I don’t know why anyone would consider anything else other than the M2500. Unless you’re doing a big 1000tph project the M2500 does everything perfectly.”

The integration of several processing phases onto a single chassis is also witnessed on the Aggmax which ensures that the recycled aggregates are effectively cleaned. In this instance the Aggmax includes a Rotomax RX150 logwasher, a trash screen and a double deck dewatering screen to allow for the classification of a 5-20mm and 20-40mm recycled aggregate product. “When examining the logwasher options that were available seeing was believing with the Rotomax” says John Hale. “The build quality and the high specification of all the component parts of the Rotomax are immediately apparent when you see it in operation and the quality of our recycled aggregate products provides all the evidence that is needed of its capability.”

The trash screen located at the rear of the Aggmax was another modification to the plant set up and allows for the removal of lightweight contaminants from the recycled aggregate products which are discharged into a skip. The construction of the Aggmax chassis allowed for this modification to be made easily without the requirement for additional structure or pipework. The Aggmax chassis also provided the flexibility required to modify the dewatering screen from a single deck to a double deck to meet the specific requirements of JPE Aggregates while once again ensuring that no modifications were required to the supporting structure.

Finally, the introduction of the Aquacycle thickener to the system allows for the recycling of approximately 90% of the water used on the wash plant, not only reducing the requirement for fresh water to feed the plant but also significantly reducing the space required on site to accommodate settling ponds. The waste water from the Evowash and Aggmax system is delivered to the Aquacycle where the application of flocculant forces the fine particles to bind together and sink to the bottom of the Aquacycle tank. The clean water overflows a weir on the Aquacycle tank before being recirculated around the wash plant. The final modification made to the plant involved the introduction of a lightweights removal screen over the top of the AquaStore water storage tank to ensure that materials such as polystyrene did not make it back into the water circuit.

The ultimate test of success for the new wash plant is the demand for the final products and JPE Aggregates are very happy with the results in the first two months of operation. “We have enjoyed significant demand for both the recycled sand and aggregate products from the new plant” says Steven Birch. “Many of our customers have commented that the quality of material is extremely pleasing particularly when they see the nature of the material with which we are feeding the plant.”

Given the increasing frequency of reports on the problems with supply of virgin sand and aggregates in the UK market the investment in the new processing plant by JPE Aggregates would appear to be very timely. A recent report from BDS on this very issue highlighted the Midlands region of the UK as an area where volumes of extracted virgin materials were not sufficient to satisfy demand for material in the region over the coming years. “The advancements that have been made in the development of effective C&D recycling systems in recent years offer a real solution to this supply problem” says Steven Birch. “Our investment in this new wash plant is a response to this developing situation and puts JPE Aggregates in a very strong position to ensure construction projects in the region can guarantee supply of high quality sand and aggregates from a very sustainable source.”

Following processing of the materials left on site at Elford quarry and completion of restoration work the CDE wash plant will be moved to a new site. “We have around two years left at Elford and then we will move this wash plant to a new site where it will be set to work on similar material” explains John Hale. “Mobility was a key factor for us when purchasing this plant as this was always our intention and the modular nature of the CDE washing plant allows for the plant to be easily transported.”

CDE recently hosted a successful open week at Elford quarry and have announced a second event at the site will be hosted from 7th to 10th June. Further information on this event and registration details can be found at or by contacting them at or on +44 28 8676 7900.

For further information:

Peter Craven

CDE Global Ltd

T: +44 28 8676 7900

M: +44 7841 123115

SkypeID: petercraven75

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