Better efficiency, a cleaner environment and construction jobs are on the way for Teck Trail Operations – the company announced Monday that a second state-of-the-art plant will break ground in the new year.
The $174-million facility will be a replica of the No. 1 Acid Plant, and is projected to be operational in 2019. In addition to the first plant, which went online in 2014, the No. 2 Acid Plant is expected to reduce overall SO2 emissions by 20 per cent.
The two structures will replace three acid plants (No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9) that were originally built in the 1960s and ‘70s and have now reached the end of their lifespans.
“There is no planned increase in production as a result of constructing the No. 2 Acid Plant,” explained Community Relations Leader Catherine Adair. “However, there are significant environmental and operational efficiencies for Trail Operations and construction ultimately supports the long-term sustainability of our operation.”
From a production standpoint, the new technology will significantly improve operating reliability and flexibility, reducing downtime and maintenance costs,” she added.
“In terms of environmental improvements, the new plant is expected to result in a 5 per cent reduction in SO2 released from Trail Operations. This is in addition to the 15 per cent already realized from the previously completed No. 1 Acid Plant. So once the new acid plant is operational in 2019, we estimate an overall 20 per cent reduction in SO2 emissions since 2014.”
Another notable factor is impact to local economy – Adair pointed out the company is estimating that approximately 650,000 hours of construction labour will be required to complete the build, which equates to approximately 160 jobs during construction.
“While we are still in the contracting process, our aim is for local procurement whenever possible,” she confirmed. “And we expect to spend approximately 75 per cent of the capital investment within B.C.”
Construction of the new acid plant represents an important investment in the ongoing sustainability and long-term future of Trail Operations, stated General Manager Thompson Hickey, in the Monday news release.
“This new facility will improve our environmental performance, while providing greater operating reliability.”
Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2017, with the plant becoming operational in the summer of 2019.
Over the last 20 years Teck has made significant investments to improve Trail Operations’ environmental performance, resulting in emissions of metal to air and water being reduced by over 95 per cent.