BIG SPRING, Texas (Dec. 19, 2001)—Alon USA and Wright Asphalt Products Co. will build a $7.5 million joint venture plant in Big Spring to manufacture crumb-rubber-modified asphalt products.
Construction will begin in January at Alon's refinery complex in Big Spring, according to Alon USA President Jeff Morris. When completed, the facility will have a capacity of 2,000-3,000 barrels of rubberized asphalt daily, and will have the ability to switch back and forth between material grades as needed.
“We're contributing the assets, while Wright is contributing the technology and marketing,” Mr. Morris said. The technologies to be used at the plant include Wright's Tire Rubber Modified Asphalt Cement and Liquefied Tire Rubber, according to an Alon release.
When completed in April, the facility will make a broad array of premium rubberized asphalt products for highway projects in West Texas and eastern New Mexico. It is the first plant of its type in West Texas, according to Alon, and will be the exclusive supplier of Wright's patented rubberized asphalt technologies in the region.
“In Texas, the road constructors contract with the State of Texas, but we have recently been successful in obtaining bids that will be laid in the next asphalt season,” Mr. Morris said.
Alon's current 200 employees at Big Spring will be able to handle the rubberized asphalt production without new hires, according to Mr. Morris. About 50 workmen will be employed in building the new plant.
Based in Dallas, Alon USA was created in July 2000 when Alon Israel Oil Co. Ltd. purchased the downstream business of Fina (now Atofina) Petrochemicals Inc. The purchase included Fina's domestic fuels marketing business, pipelines, terminals and Big Spring refinery.
The refinery was built in 1929 and changed hands several times before Fina bought it in 1963, Mr. Morris said.
Wright Asphalt, based in Channelview, Texas, claims to be the first commercially successful rubberized asphalt company in the U.S., receiving its technology patent in 1993. It currently operates in eight Western and Midwestern states.