On-Site Magazine

Lafarge completes modernization, reduces environmental footprint

By On-Site Magazine   

Concrete Construction Construction Materials Alberta concrete Lafarge modernization

Lafarge Canada recognized among Canada's top employers

Today, Lafarge Canada Inc. in Exshaw, Alberta, announced the completion of major modernization and environmental upgrades. Physical 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,” 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 modernization effort centered around major kiln upgrades. Kilns are the heart of the cement-making process.

  • Shut down of kiln 4 in November 2015
  • Invested $20 million in kiln 5 to meet new emissions targets by retiring less efficient gravel-bed filter technology.
  • Constructed a new kiln 6 with a state-of-the-art baghouse to collect particulates, as well as a vertical raw mill, the EcoDome storage facility, a pre-heater tower and a vertical cement mill to complete the expansion.

Through the modernization, Lafarge’s production capacity increases from 1.3 million metric tonnes per year (tpy) to 2.2 million metric tpy. 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 Exshaw Plant has also achieved zero water discharge from its operations.

Plant manager, Jim Bachmann comments, “I want to especially thank our neighbors in the Municipal District of Bighorn, and Bow Valley residents for their support throughout this project,” he added. “Their patience through the construction period and feedback contributed to our success.” 

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.


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