On Monday, 30 November 84 year-old Tony Levstik returned to the control room at the Exshaw Cement Plant, decommissioning the oldest of the Plant's two production lines. Mr Levstik retired from Lafarge Canada Inc in 1994.
As part of its permit to expand the Lafarge plant, the company committed to shut down Kiln 4 by November 30, 2015, allowing the company to meet emissions targets established by the provincial government.
"It seemed only right that we invite Tony to shutdown the kiln. He was a first generation Kiln 4, A Operator when the Kiln was installed in 1975," says Jim Bachmann, plant manager. "It's a historic day for us. At the time of the plant's expansion in 1975, the 600-foot kiln was the latest technology with the best pollution control available. This marks the end of the era and beginning of a new one."
The new Kiln 6 – the replacement for 4, is scheduled to be up and running in the spring of 2016. Per tonne of production, the new kiln is:
- Approximately 30 per cent cleaner than Kiln 4 when it comes to Sulphur Dioxide
- 75 per cent cleaner for Nitrous Oxide emissions
- 25 per cent lower in greenhouse gas emissions from combustion.
"We will also be retiring the gravel bed filter technology," Bachmann adds. "This is a type of dust control treatment that was prevalent in the 80s and 90s. Instead, Kiln 6 will have a state-of-the-art bag-house to collect particulates, hence the high-level of improvement projected."
The construction of the new line continues and is expected to be completed in 2016.