Firing up capacity with state-of-the-art upgrades
Construction at Exshaw began in 2013, with more than 600 contractor employees on site at the project’s peak. The team achieved a very strong safety record – the Group’s overarching value – hitting nearly three million hours without a lost time incident. The modernization effort centered around major kiln upgrades, as kilns are the heart of the cement-making process. This involved:
Constructing a new kiln 6 with a state-of-the-art baghouse to collect particulates
Upgrading kiln 5 to meet new emissions targets by retiring less efficient gravel-bed filter technology
Shutting down the older kiln 4
These upgrades enabled cement production capacity to increase by over 60%, from 1.3 million to 2.2 million metric tonnes per year. The project will also catalyze major economic and social benefits to the local community. Thanks to the expansion, an anticipated $1.2 billion economic impact will be a boon to the province of Alberta. Exshaw’s expansion will provide long term, good quality employment opportunities in the Bow Valley.
Reducing environmental impact through technology
In line with the LafargeHolcim 2030 Plan – which articulates the Group’s efforts to improve the sustainability performance of our operations and sets quantitative targets – the benefits of the Exshaw modernization project also extend to the environment. The technology upgrades involved in the cement plant expansion led to the following improvements in air quality:
Overall greenhouse gas emissions are approximately 25% lower
SO2 emissions have been decreased by over 60% with Lime Slurry Injection & the installation of a new Vertical Raw Mill
NOx emissions have been decreased by over 40%, with Ammonia Injection (SNCR process)
The expansion also resulted in reduced fuel, power and water consumption, zero water discharge and quieter equipment. The Exshaw cement plan is certified by Canada’s Wildlife Habitat Council’s Conservation Program and will continue to engage in initiatives that improve habitats for native species.
The EcoDome: efficiency and quality under one roof
As part of the expansion project, Lafarge Canada built a storage hall to house raw materials, protecting them from wind and weather, and reducing the spread of dust in the community. The EcoDome, named by the Bow Valley residents after a community contest, incorporates a stacker/reclaimer system that helps avoid bottlenecking in the cement production process while significantly improving the consistency and quality of the material.