Local asphalt plant goes green
By Courtney Parker
Correspondent | May 06,2013
Photo by courtney parker
Wilk Paving, a local asphalt plant, is making the transition from fuel-based oil to natural gas as a main source for their heating and burning systems.
A greener future is coming soon for Wilk Paving, as the local asphalt plant makes the transition from petroleum-based fuel to natural gas as a main source for their heating and burning systems.
Located in Center Rutland, the Vermont-owned company has been a leader in the state for economically friendly paving plants, and with the new installation of an NG Advantage natural gas pipeline and truck station, they have become a forerunner for the cause.
“We strive to be one of the greenest plants in Vermont,” said Wilk Paving President and owner Steve Wilk.
NG Advantage, based in Milton, provides significant economic and environmental benefits to companies not yet served by a natural gas pipeline. They provide customers with trucked compressed natural gas.
The two companies joined forces late last fall in preparation of having the natural gas transition completed for the 2013 paving season.
“Asphalt plants are perceived by people as being a dirty industry,” said Wilk. “We are trying to change that.”
Wilk Paving has been taking steps to become a “green plant” for many years, including the company’s previous use of exclusively ultra-low sulfur fuel, carefully monitored dust control and frequent use of recycled materials.
Wilk sees the new transition as not only an opportunity to better maintain Vermont’s quality of life and preserve the earth’s precious natural resources but also a chance for the company to save money and expand business.
“It’s a win-win,” he said.
The plant expects to be online with the new system by May 15, making Wilk Paving the first asphalt plant in the state to use a natural gas-based system.
“We are making an investment in the community through our plant,” said Wilk Paving Plant Manager Todd Widli, who is also eager for the transition.
Widli believes the switch will prove to be more efficient for plant personnel, eliminating tedious tasks such as tracking fuel usage and changing filters. But, he said, it will require all employees to be trained on natural gas usage.
“The ultimate goal is to get natural gas throughout the area,” Widli said, adding that many plants around the country are taking notice of the benefits and making the switch. “It’s the future for this country.”
“We are very conscious about our community and the environment,” Wilk said, stressing his views on preserving the environment.
“It’s less about the bottom line and more about being a good neighbor.”