Bienfait area residents had the chance to learn more about a proposed Lehigh Cement Company fly ash facility that would be constructed in the RM of Coalfields during an open house on January 30.
Dan Thillman, the sales manager for the Alberta region at Lehigh, said they wanted the public to have insight and a chance to ask questions about the proposed terminal. The most recurring concern was regarding truck traffic.
“What we're looking at is approximately eight to 12 truckloads of fly ash coming from the Boundary Dam Power Station (each day), and going into this facility,” said Thillman.
The open house also had information on noise assessment, the environmental review, the facility plan and the benefits of fly ash.
Lehigh is proposing to construct the terminal north of Bienfait. About 20,000 tonnes of fly ash could be stored at the structure. There would be one or two operator jobs generated once the building opens.
“Our goal is to use all of the fly ash that is currently moved,” said Thillman.
Lehigh has an exclusive 10-year contract with SaskPower to market the fly ash produced at Boundary Dam. The product is used in ready-mix concrete operations, pre-cast structures such as bridge decks and pipes, and concrete products like bricks and paving stones.
He believes the fly ash facility will be environmentally beneficial because the fly ash will be reused rather than stored in lagoons. It's also a good use of a byproduct of coal-fired combustion.
The fly ash is currently being marketed on B.C.'s west coast. Thillman said markets could be expanded to the U.S. as well.
Lehigh is optimistic that construction could begin in April, and that the plant would be operating in February of 2015.
As part of the project, CN Rail will construct a 750-metre railway spur from CN's Lampman subdivision to service the facility. Federal approval from the Canadian Transportation Agency will be needed. If it receives the green light, construction would occur from June to October of this year, and it would be ready for trains in November.