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ALON USA and Wright Asphalt to Build Tire Rubber Modified Asphalt Plant

Dallas, TX - ALON USA (formerly FINA) and Wright Asphalt announced plans to build a tire rubber modified asphalt plant in Big Spring, Texas. The new plant will be built at the ALON refinery site.

Groundbreaking was scheduled for January and the project will employ 50 people during the construction phase through April 2002. This facility will be the first in West Texas to utilize ground tires to manufacture premium road asphalts. After the facility is built, existing plant employees will handle daily operations.

"We are very excited about the arrangement between ALON and Wright Asphalt," said Jeff Morris, ALON President and CEO. "This partnership continues the legacy of the Big Spring Refinery producing the broadest array of asphalt products for West Texas," he added.

The new plant will utilize Wright's Tire Rubber Modified Asphalt Cement (TRMAC) and Liquefied Tire Rubber (LTR) technologies to combine recycled ground tires and asphalt creating products for use in paving roads throughout West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. This facility will be the exclusive supplier of asphalts utilizing Wright's technology in these areas. The products produced by the facility will be used in hot mix and chip seal applications and can often help substantially increase the service life of asphalt pavements. Wright Asphalt developed and patented this technology in 1993 and is the largest producer of tire rubber modified asphalt in Texas and Oklahoma.

According to the Asphalt Rubber Technology Service, 270 million waste tires are produced each year in the United States. Of those, 227 million are passenger car tires. A typical passenger tire weighs 20 pounds resulting in the equivalent of more than 4.5 billion pounds, or 2.2 million tons of wasted tires.

"Building a new tire rubber modified asphalt plant is one way corporate America is turning a negative into a positive," said Mr. Morris. "Com-panies realize the advantages of taking waste material and recycling it into a viable product that has a variety of applications, environmental benefits and potential customers," he said. "We are proud to be making this contribution to West Texas with Wright Asphalt. It not only makes good sense, it makes good business sense. "

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