TOO Firma Universal partnered with Astec to bring modern technology to the region’s HMA production industry with the purchase of a Portable Double Barrel® plant.


Anew, hot-mix asphalt (HMA) plant was imported into an area of Northern Kazakhstan, traveling from the Astec, Inc. manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The plant, which is one of the first modern facilities in Kazakhstan, was purchased as a result of a program for stimulating technology investments in the country.

Pioneering Innovation

An owner of the plant, TOO Firma Universal, is a major player in two segments of the Northern Kazakhstan regional economy: agriculture and HMA production. The company is well known in the region because of its pioneering innovations in both industries. The Astec-manufactured Portable Double Barrel® plant was commissioned in July 2015 in the city of Petropavlovsk, a major city in Northern Kazakhstan.

Igor Grishanov, founder and owner of TOO Firma Universal, shared: “We had been looking at the most modern technologies in the hot-mix production industry and invited an American company, Astec, Inc., to be our long-term partner in the project. Astec is well known worldwide as one the most advanced equipment manufacturers in the industry.

Grishanov continued: “The Astec Portable Double Barrel® plant implements virtually all the latest achievements of engineering thought in the HMA industry. Technologies, available at the facility, allow for significant cost cuts in the production process. One of the factors is the heating of asphalt cement by means of burning biomass waste arising from agricultural production—that brings significant cost decreases and contributes into our competitiveness in the HMA suppliers’ market. In the future, we’re planning to embark on using an additional biomass waste burner for heating and drying aggregates at the facility.”

Industrialization Roadmap

Vladimir Bubenko, deputy of the governor of the Northern Kazakhstan region, visited the plant prior to its commissioning. Along with offering congratulations on the commissioning of the new plant, Mr. Bubenko pointed out that the plant is the tenth project carried out in the region within the framework of the Second Five-Year Plan (2015–2019) of the Kazakhstan industrialization roadmap. The facility is essential to the region because it ensures the highest quality of HMA and WMA (warm-mix asphalt) mixes for the transport corridor between Russia and Central Asia.

The Power Of Portable

The 200 TPH (181 MTPH) 6 ft x 33 ft (1.82 m x 10.05 m) Portable Double Barrel® plant is expected to meet approximately 70 percent of the region’s demand for quality asphalt mixes. The plant includes a four-bin cold feed system, a 6 ft (1.82 m) portable Double Barrel® drum with the Astec warm mix system, a highly portable Pulse Jet baghouse, recycled material and cellulose fiber feeders, filler silos (including some already owned by TOO Firma Universal), a liquid asphalt cement tank with a biomass heater (supplied by the customer) and liquid additives system, four 100-ton New Generation long-term storage silos along with the drag conveyor, and a control house with a PMII plant control system. The new Petropavlovsk plant will produce conventional HMA mixes and SMA (stone-matrix asphalt) mixes, WMA mixes, polymer, and color asphalt mixes.

Astec Assistance

Astec service engineers traveled to Petropavlovsk to ensure correct set up of the plant and to train plant personnel. Aris Ierodiaconou, Astec service engineer, noted: “One of the greatest advantages of an Astec Double Barrel® plant is that it is capable of using large percentages of RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement) in the production of new mix. RAP is both economically and environmentally beneficial. HMA production with high percentages of RAP, as well as the use of WMA technologies that are built into this plant, allows an operator to significantly reduce the carbon footprint for the industry and this particular production site. Using the Astec warm mix system to produce WMA through the foaming method allows for better compaction of mixes from the facility and allows successful paving, even in the early spring and late fall periods, when very few road contractors in the region would start their plants up.”

Moving Forward

With the Astec Portable Double Barrel® plant, TOO Firma Universal has been able to sign several important framework sales agreements with the regional governor’s office. The company has also reached several agreements for consulting regarding the use of HMA and WMA technologies to help extend the life of existing roads. Now that the plant is up and running, TOO Firma Universal has been recognized as one of the priority vendors by the regional governor’s office, as well as by several large road contractors.

  • A control house with a PMII plant control system runs the production process for HMA and WMA mixes.

  • The plant was exported from the Astec, Inc. manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and imported into an area of Northern Kazakhstan, traveling by trailers to Petropavlovsk, where the plant was commissioned.

  • The plant was exported from the Astec, Inc. manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and imported into an area of Northern Kazakhstan, traveling by trailers to Petropavlovsk, where the plant was commissioned.