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Lafarge Canada Inc. in Exshaw has completed a major modernization and environmental upgrade. Construction began in 2013, with more than 600 contracted employees on site at construction peak in addition to 160 permanent employees.

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,” said René Thibault, president and chief executive officer, 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 modernization effort centered around major kiln upgrades. Kilns are the heart of the cement-making process.

Through the modernization, Lafarge’s production capacity increases from 1.3 million metric tons per year (tpy) to 2.2 million metric tpy. Technology upgrades led to a 60 percent reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions, a 40 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions, and a significant reduction in fugitive dust and noise coming from the plant’s equipment. The Exshaw Plant has also achieved zero water discharge from its operations.

The economic impact of the plant’s increased production and GDP of Alberta is estimated at $1.2 billion per year. Lafarge’s investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in the expansion will provide long term, well-paying employment opportunities as well as construction material for Alberta’s entire built environment.

Published in the December 2016 Edition of American Recycler News