Decarbonising Plant Operations
Reimagining asphalt mixing
The German asphalt mixer AM-NRW GmbH & CO. KG (AM-NRW) and Shell partner to implement new solutions that help reduce emissions and impact on local air quality.
AM-NRW GmbH & CO. KG (AM-NRW), a German asphalt mixer, set its commitment to improve the sustainability of its asphalt plants and with Shell’s help, has implemented new solutions to reduce emissions and impact on air quality.
AM-NRW is committed to working in a more environmentally friendly and resource-saving manner. Building on the progress it has made to date, the German mixer looked to a partner to support them accelerate their sustainability related efforts. Given the long-standing partnership they have together, AM-NRW worked closely with Shell on a panel of solutions to reduce emissions at two of its production sites, Schwelm and Wuppertal.
Innovating to meet sustainability commitments
Both companies have taken clear engagements towards net-zero. AM-NRW has already been taking steps to become more sustainable, announcing a commitment to achieve net zero emissions. At the same time, Shell launched its Powering Progress strategy to accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions and support its customers to lower their own emissions.
These shared values and a long successful relationship were the foundations for expanding the two company’s collaboration into new solutions contributing to a more sustainable construction process across the value chain.
This new broader approach to decarbonisation was possible thanks to Shell’s transformation of its business customer units to work sector by sector and address specific customer needs. The newly created unit Shell Construction and Road offers specific sectoral experience and deep industry knowledge for the construction industry. By leveraging Shell’s strong bitumen business, its expertise in low-carbon fuels and cleaner energy solutions Shell Construction and Road wants to be the partner of choice for decarbonising construction and support the construction companies to reduce their emissions.
Markus Plock, Key Account Manager at Shell Construction and Road Germany: “We have been working in partnership with AM-NRW for many years; they pursue the same philosophy, the same ambitions, and goals as we do. We want to support our customers on this journey by developing fit-for-purpose solutions with them, providing integrated offers across the supply chain. This is how we want to contribute to reducing emissions.”
Fuelling the future
In 2011 AM-NRW had added at its facility in Wuppertal a processing plant for reclaimed asphalt to enable 100% recycling on site and had built a covered storing facility that helped the German mixer save energy-related cost for drying the material.
The company’s positive actions represent strong foundational blocks for AM-NRW's sustainability agenda. Mixers are reimagining what is possible, looking for technological solutions to help them accelerate their energy transition and continue to lower CO2 emissions.
As a partner for change, Shell worked with AM-NRW to assess which solutions could be leveraged to support the mixer’s sustainable ambitions. One such opportunity was to switch from the conventional diesel fuel to synthetically produced Shell Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) Fuel to ensure the wheel loaders emit fewer emissions that impact air quality.
Synthetic diesel fuels are produced by chemical processes using natural gas. Fuel produced this way has lower levels of aromatics, sulphur, and nitrogen than conventional diesel, reducing air pollutants such as particulates and nitrogen oxide. In addition, Shell Eco sulphur-free extra light fuel oil helped to reduce the formation of new deposits in the tank and pipes, resulting in lower fuel oil consumption and lower CO2 emissions.
Reducing emissions linked to local air quality while producing and laying asphalt
Shell identified further opportunities to improve the performance of AM-NRW's facilities. Benefiting from the collaborative process that kicked off their partnership, the two parties decided on using Shell Cariphalte FreshAir, a polymer modified bitumen that lowers emissions linked to air quality. As well as eliminating the traditional bitumen odour – helping plant staff work in more pleasant conditions – using Shell Cariphalte FreshAir can help reduce by up to 40% certain gases, aerosols, and airborne particles impacting local air quality that are being emitted during the asphalt production and laying process.
Leading by example
By continuing to work with energy specialists, AM-NRW aims to deliver the first asphalt mixing plant in Germany that is not dependent on fossil fuels. The company wants to lead the way and help accelerate the industry’s drive towards decarbonisation.
Stephen Genuit (Grad. Eng.), Managing Partner of AM-NRW: “Like Shell, AM-NRW focused early on resource conservation, sustainability, and decarbonisation topics. We were very pleased that Shell, as a major global energy player, has now also gone public with its net zero emissions target. This connects our two companies even more.”
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At Shell, we have a long history of supporting the construction sector. We are passionate about collaborating with our customers and partners as they build the world around us.