C-Twelve – Canning Vale, Western Australia

May 30, 2024

C-Twelve

Carbon Sequestration Solutions for a Sustainable Future in Road Construction

 

Building blocks to reshaping the road construction industry

In infrastructure development, innovation often emerges from unexpected places. Such is the case with C-Twelve, a groundbreaking company based in Australia that is set to redefine how roads are built. In an interview with Jason Lee, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of C-Twelve, we gained insights into the company’s origins, unique products, and journey towards reshaping the road construction industry.

C-Twelve’s journey began in 2020 when two visionary founders, one a chemical engineer and the other a road-testing engineer, united to tackle the challenges of traditional road construction methods. Together, they forged a concept that would transform the industry. Over the past four years, the company has evolved from a modest R&D endeavor in Carlisle to a purpose-built Canning Vale, Western Australia facility.

The product lineup

As Lee explains, C-Twelve’s innovation is centered around two unique products: C12 Plus and C12 Black. C12 Plus, a proprietary binder, is a game-changer in the industry. Unlike traditional binders, C12 Plus interacts with carbon, a process that plays a crucial role in road manufacturing. This innovative binder enhances sub-base compaction by incorporating biochar-based carbon, ensuring a strong foundation for road surfaces.

Complementing C12 Plus is C12 Black, a graded material engineered to replace traditional asphalt-wearing courses. What sets C12 Black apart is its application process. Unlike conventional asphalt, which requires high temperatures for laying, C12 Black can be applied at ambient temperatures, significantly reducing energy consumption and environmental impact. The material undergoes a reaction upon compaction, delivering performance on par with traditional asphalt surfaces.

The core of C-Twelve’s innovation lies in the synergy between carbon and the binder, a fusion of technology and sustainability. By harnessing carbon’s potential, the company not only improves road performance but also reduces its environmental impact. Lee stresses that this unique approach provides a sustainable alternative to traditional asphalt and cement, with similar properties but less ecological impact.

In an industry known for reluctance to embrace change, C-Twelve emerges as a trailblazer, pushing boundaries and redefining standards. With the imminent launch of its groundbreaking products, anticipation surges across the infrastructure sector. C-Twelve is positioned to make a lasting impact on road construction, leading the charge towards a more efficient, environmentally conscious future.

Confronting Covid-19 challenges

Despite the challenges posed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, C-Twelve has navigated its path with resilience and determination. As Lee reflects on the company’s journey amidst the global crisis, he acknowledges the hurdles in securing investments and expanding market reach. However, he also highlights an unexpected silver lining—the pandemic-induced slowdown provided an opportunity for focused development and refinement of its products within the R&D space.

“In a way, it may have aided the business,” Lee reflects. “The lockdowns allowed us to concentrate on our products without the distractions of international and domestic travel.”

 

Innovation and progress

During enforced introspection, C-Twelve was propelled to delve deeper into its research and development efforts, establishing a foundation for future endeavors. As the world gradually emerges from the grip of the pandemic, C-Twelve finds itself primed for expansion and growth.

Currently comprising a core team of six individuals, augmented by a dedicated lab staff of around 20, C-Twelve is gearing up to transition from the R&D phase to full-scale commercialization. With plans to expand its workforce and capitalize on the momentum gained through intensive research, the company is ready to make significant strides in the coming months.

“Our lab, though operating under a different entity, plays a pivotal role in our innovation process,” Lee explains. “As we commercialize our products, we anticipate substantial growth and expansion in our core business and research endeavors.”

The global expansion strategy

Expanding its domestic and international footprint, C-Twelve is strategically forging partnerships to propel its innovative solutions into new markets. With a franchise outlet established in the Northern Territory, the company has successfully replicated its production model under a licensing arrangement, extending its reach and product distribution.

Lee elaborates, “We view our partners in the Northern Territory as integral members of the C-Twelve family, contributing to our collective mission of transforming road construction practices.”

Looking towards the East Coast of Australia and beyond, C-Twelve is actively seeking partnerships to scale its operations further. Embracing a collaborative business model, the company aims to leverage its intellectual property and technology to penetrate key markets in Australia and New Zealand and explore opportunities overseas.

Lee explains, “Our business model revolves around strategic partnerships. We recognize the need for collaboration to achieve the necessary volumes and market penetration. We aim to establish a distribution network across Australia, New Zealand, and beyond.”

Fostering collaborative ventures

Highlighting a significant partnership, C-Twelve recently inked an exclusive installation agreement with a prominent road builder based in Auckland. With rights extending across Australia and New Zealand, this partnership signifies a major milestone in the company’s expansion strategy. As the partner embarks on a marketing campaign to promote C-Twelve’s products, the company is ramping up its production capabilities to meet the anticipated demand.

Lee elaborates further, “Our collaboration with Hiway Group is a testament to our commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions to the infrastructure sector. By aligning our product offerings with their existing infrastructure, we are poised to revolutionize road construction practices on a significant scale.”

Looking beyond Australasia, C-Twelve is exploring opportunities in international markets, with a trial slated to commence in the Philippines. “They’re very keen to do a trial with our product,” Lee reveals.”

The trial’s potential success holds significant implications for C-Twelve’s future in the region. If it is successful and aligns with the local road construction methods, there is a strong possibility of commercializing C12 in the Philippines.

Furthermore, the environmental benefits of C-Twelve’s products have garnered attention. The utilization of biochar and the generation of carbon credits through road construction highlight its advantages. Compared to conventional methods like laying concrete or bituminous roads, C-Twelve’s approach is less carbon-intensive, offering a more sustainable alternative.

 

Exploring expansion opportunities

“The potential for international expansion is immense. Our products offer performance and environmental benefits, aligning with global efforts towards sustainability. As we embark on these ventures, we remain committed to driving positive change in the infrastructure landscape”, Lee states.

As C-Twelve sets on its trajectory of growth and expansion, strategic partnerships guide the company’s future endeavors and a commitment to sustainability. With a keen eye on scaling operations to meet burgeoning demand, the company has strategically aligned itself with key players in the industry to facilitate rapid commercialization and distribution of its products.

“We strategically partnered with a company in Western Australia, the state’s largest distributor of construction materials. This collaboration has enabled us to expedite our commercialization efforts and meet the demands of clients like Hiway Group”, says Lee.

Looking towards the East Coast of Australia and beyond, C-Twelve is prepared to replicate its success with additional strategic partners. The company’s vision extends beyond domestic borders, with plans to penetrate international markets in Europe, Asia, and the Americas within the next five years.

Paving the way forward

“Our goal is to become a household name, synonymous with sustainable road construction practices, not only in Australia and New Zealand but globally. We’re currently in discussions with engineering firms in Germany, laying the groundwork for potential installations in Europe”, Lee states.

Central to C-Twelve’s value proposition is its innovative use of biochar—a strategic advantage that sets the company apart in the infrastructure landscape. As the world embraces efforts to decarbonize, C-Twelve’s products offer a compelling solution to reduce carbon footprints while delivering superior performance.

“Our product’s unique ability to sequester carbon makes it a game changer for the road industry,” Lee emphasizes. “Through our partnerships and ongoing research collaborations with institutions like the University of Western Australia, we’re paving the way for a more sustainable future.”

Looking ahead, C-Twelve’s mission is clear: revolutionizing road construction practices and making them more cost-effective, sustainable, and impactful. With a firm commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship, the company is prepared to leave a lasting legacy—one road at a time.

AT A GLANCE

C-Twelve

What:  A pioneering company based in Western Australia that develops industrial-scale carbon sequestration solutions for a sustainable future in road construction.

Where: Canning Vale, Western Australia

Website: https://www.c-twelve.com.au/

PREFERRED VENDORS

Hiway – www.HIWAY.au

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