Lafarge Canada Inc. announced its cement plant in Exshaw, Alberta, Canada, has met its target to reduce emissions of dust, sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from its existing cement kiln line, and achieved zero water discharge from its operations.
As part of its expansion, which will increase manufacturing capacity by 60 percent, Lafarge upgraded an existing manufacturing line and is constructing a new kiln line. With the upgrade of the existing line now complete, Exshaw has reduced emissions significantly, with SO2 reduced by 60 percent and as well as a 40 percent reduction in NOx.
The plant has invested $20 million in the upgrade, which has introduced additional dust mitigation and noise abatement equipment. These activities support Lafarge’s Sustainability Ambitions for 2020 to provide solutions using sustainable manufacturing practices and improving the environment in and around its operations.
“When we embarked on this project, we made a promise to our customers and neighbors that we would improve our environmental footprint,” said Bob Cooper, vice president Western Canada Cement, Lafarge. “We’ve taken the first major step to reduce SO2, NOx, and kiln particulate matter. And we are now recycling all of our cooling water, which means no discharge back to the Bow River and the plant is drawing less water.”
Every large construction project comes with its own set of challenges, added Cooper. Lafarge achieved this milestone while remaining injury-free. This plant expansion shows Lafarge’s commitment to its customers and continuous improvement and the company is keen to reach its next major milestone – the completion of its new kiln line and vertical cement mill. Cement from Exshaw is helping build better cities across Canada and the northwestern U.S.
“We are grateful to all of our staff and the contractor teams who have helped us reach this milestone and to the communities near our Plant, for their support,” stated Heinz Knopfel, plant manager at the Exshaw facility. “They have been waiting for these improvements since the notion of this expansion was first discussed and we’re happy to deliver on our promise.”
The construction of the new line continues and is expected to be completed in summer 2015.
The economic impact of the Exshaw plant’s increased production and GDP of Alberta is estimated at $800 million per year. Lafarge’s investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in the expansion will provide long-term employment opportunities in the Bow Valley.