RoadTrain® Packaged Plants – Proof of Circular Economic Value

April 30, 2024

Many treatment solutions in the decentralised wastewater market are not designed with sustainability in mind from a circular economic perspective. In some cases what is provided is not upgradable and is manufactured with a short life span of 10 to 15 years.

A recent site audit of a 50-year-old Hydroflux Epco RoadTrain® is proof that a circular economic approach to asset procurement does pay off. This article describes how a Hydroflux Epco client is achieving decades of significant circular economic benefit from its RoadTrain® Original installation.

To recap on the technical side of the circular economy butterfly diagram, the concepts of Maintain, Reuse, Refurbish and finally Recycling are the focus.

The image below shows two RoadTrain® Originals on a site that is a classic example of circularity in action. Both RoadTrain® units are fully operational and well past the formal guaranteed life span of 25 years. The one on the left is a 50-year-old RoadTrain® that started life in 1974 for the Townsville port authority and was purchased and relocated to the nearby site in 2010 to cater for increased staffing levels during an expansion phase. The plant on the right is the original RoadTrain®, now 28 years old, installed during the 1996 establishment and construction phase. Both RoadTrain® Originals are fully operational and running in parallel producing effluent to the commissioned discharge standards.

Hydroflux Epco was recently appointed by the client to assess the site, both for engineering integrity and modern compliance, and while the site will need a modern compliance upgrade, the younger plant will be capable of being upgraded for a further fifteen to twenty-year life extension with minor refurbishment. The older plant has lived the equivalent of two life spans, so it is safe to say that both the original owner and the current custodian have achieved significant circular economic return on their investment.

“For those of you interested in the old plant’s prognosis, our recommendation was the relocated RoadTrain® is capable of continuing service for an indefinite period while the compliance upgrade is being undertaken on the younger plant, but retirement is recommended in the long term.

We’ve talked about the reuse and refurbishment or upgrade of the RoadTrain® without reference to prolonging the asset through effective maintenance. On the client’s own admission, maintenance has been limited, yet the RoadTrain® technology continues to prove its resilience and self-sustainability with limited attendance and ongoing service over decades in the past and will continue to do so into the future” says Paul Cobbin, General Manager of Decentralised Solutions for Hydroflux Epco.

The above example, and numerous other sites across the Hydroflux Epco network, are resounding proof that making appropriate procurement choices may seem dearer than lower quality options during CAPEX selection, but they offer far greater OPEX saving if you consider the actual lifespan of the asset.

For more information on RoadTrain® products please click here or contact us on 1300 417 697 or email [email protected].

RoadTrain® is a registered trademark of Hydroflux Epco Pty Ltd.

About the Hydroflux Group

The Hydroflux Group aims to deliver the highest level of engineering and scientific know-how to the emerging issues of sustainability, climate adaptation and environmental protection with a specific focus on water and wastewater.

As part of its vision and mission, Hydroflux has always taken its climate responsibility seriously. In 2022, Hydroflux became Australia’s first water treatment and technology company to achieve Climate Active carbon neutral certification for its organisation and products. It knows that partnering with customers and clients is the most significant impact it can have in its journey. The Group employs over 100 staff and operates throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, with office locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Auckland, Suva and Portsmouth.

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