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Flyash terminal, competition and innovation in Canada’s cement industry

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World Cement,

New flyash terminal

According to reports, Lehigh Inland Cement Company wishes to build and operate a flyash terminal in Sask, Canada. The terminal would include a truck unloading facility, flyash storage and a railcar load-out facility and would ultimately have the capacity to store 20 000 t of flyash.

Flyash would be transported from the SaskPower Boundary Dam storage and loud-out facility using a fully enclosed trucking system, which would transport the flyash to an enclosed unloading station, from where it could be discharged into a receiving hopper. The flyash could either be stored onsite for future load-out, or transported directly to railcars using an enclosed load-out system.

The proposed site is currently owned by Canadian National Railway Company.

Frack wastewater pilot project

The pilot project at Lafarge Brookfield, Nova Scotia, outlined on this site in December 2013 has begun. The project involves the use of treated fracking wastewater to cool the exhaust gases coming out of the kiln. Three to five tanker truckloads of waste water will be shipped each day over a two to three week period, amounting to 2 million litres of water in all. The water has been twice treated and meets the standards to be released into the drinking water supply.

As part of the trial, stack testing will be carried out and the results published on the website to make sure that everyone with an interest in the project can see the full analysis.

Competition in the Canadian cement industry

Speculation has begun in the national news over the impact of the Lafarge-Holcim merger on Canada’s cement industry and the action the competition authorities are likely to take. Holcim and Lafarge reportedly have a combined share of almost half the Canadian cement market, as well as construction aggregate and ready-mix operations, and together they employ some 9000 people. Canada’s Financial Post speculates that the Blackstone Group, with existing interests in Summit Materials, might be a possible buyer for any Holcim/Lafarge divestments, having hired an investment specialist last month to help seek out opportunities in Canada.

It is an interesting time for the Canadian cement industry, which is experiencing a boom in certain regions, while in others the threat of competition is stirring up trouble. The proposed 2.2 million tpa cement plant in Quebec is one such instance: the Cement Association of Canada has stepped in to express its outrage over the plans given the existing overcapacity in the area. The government is also reported to be looking into the agreed spending on the project, which is said to be seeking further financing. 

Edited from various sources by

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