Structural elements of the new $174-million acid plant at Teck Trail Operations are expected to start taking shape in a few weeks.
Three buildings from the 1960s and ’70s have been torn down to make way for the No. 2 Acid Plant, a carbon copy of the first emissions-reducing plant Teck constructed in 2014.
“The project is progressing on schedule,” says Community Relations Leader Catherine Adair. “We have completed demolition and the majority of excavation. Foundation work is expected to begin in early April.”
Hil-Tech Contracting and CIMS were awarded the contracts for demolition and site prep, the primary equipment supplier is the same company used for the previous build.
“The main equipment supplier for the project will be the same supplier as the No. 1 Acid Plant, completed in July 2014,” Adair confirmed. “As the new plant will be a replica of the previously constructed plant.”
Teck estimates approximately 650,000 hours of construction labour will be required to complete the build, which equates to about 160 jobs during construction.
“Contractor selection for foundation work, mechanical, structural and electrical work is currently underway,” Adair said. “And other smaller contracts will be selected throughout the construction.”
The No. 2 acid plant is scheduled to become operational in the summer of 2019.
Over the last 20 years Teck has made significant investments to improve environmental performance at the Trail smelter, which is one of largest zinc and lead smelting and refining operations in the world.
Notably, the company’s latest air quality summary to the Trail Health and Environment Committee showed that 2016 had the lowest annual average for lead and arsenic ever recorded in community air.
“The new acid plant represents an important investment in the ongoing sustainability and long-term future of Trail Operations,” Adair added. “The new plant will significantly improve operating reliability and flexibility, reducing downtime and maintenance costs.”
SO2 (sulphur dioxide) emissions are projected to reduce a further five per cent in addition to the 15 per cent reduction in emissions realized from the 2014 installation of the No. 1 Acid Plant.
The Acid Plants are part of the process that converts sulphur from feed materials into useful products such as fertilizer.