Lafarge completes $20M modernization upgrade at Alberta plant

Tuesday September 13, 2016
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Lafarge completes $20M modernization upgrade at Alberta plant
PHOTO: LafargeHolcim
Sept. 13, 2016 - Lafarge Canada says it has completed “major” modernization and environmental upgrades at its Exshaw, Alta., cement plant, resulting in an increase of production capacity from 1.3 million metric tonnes per year (tpy) to 2.2 million metric tpy.

According to the company, the technology upgrades led to a 60 per cent reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions, a 40 per cent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions, and a “significant” reduction in fugitive dust and noise coming from the plant's equipment. The plant has also achieved zero water discharge from its operations, said the company in a statement.

Physical construction began in 2013, with more than 600 contracted employees on site at construction peak in addition to 160 permanent employees. Modernization upgrades focused on the kilns, which are “the heart” of the cement-making process. In November 2015, kiln 4 was shut down, and the company invested $20 million in kiln 5 to meet new emissions targets by retiring less efficient gravel-bed filter technology. A new kiln 6 was constructed with a “state-of-the-art” baghouse to collect particulates, said the company, as well as a vertical raw mill, the EcoDome storage facility, a pre-heater tower and a vertical cement mill to complete the expansion.

Lafarge said the team “achieved a very strong safety record, hitting nearly three million hours without a lost time incident.”

“It is an incredible achievement, completing a project of this scale. Completing it safely takes focus and energy and I applaud the team for its dedication to this goal,” says René Thibault, president and CEO, Lafarge, Western Canada. “By all accounts we consider the project to be a success, cementing our long term commitment to Exshaw, Alberta and western Canada.”

The economic impact of the plant’s increased production and GDP of Alberta is estimated at $1.2 billion per year, noted Lafarge.

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