After two years of construction valued at $174-million, the No. 2 Acid Plant is now in service at the Trail smelter.
Teck Trail Operations officially announced the plant’s completion on Thursday, though the new facility has been fully operational since Q2 (second quarter), or late spring.
“This investment supports our ongoing focus on sustainability and the long-term viability of our operation,” Thompson Hickey, General Manager, Trail Operations, said in the Sept. 12 media release.
“Using the best available technology, the new plant will enhance productivity and operational efficiency here at Trail Operations.”
The new structure is a state-of-the-art replica of the No. 1 Acid Plant, which was completed in 2014.
Attributes of both facilities is “to significantly improve operating reliability and flexibility, reducing downtime and maintenance costs.”
The new plants replace 1970s technology, and are expected to have a lifespan of over 40 years.
Ground broke on the second site in early 2017. Over the course of the build, the No. 2 Acid Plant created the equivalent of roughly 160 jobs, with local hires as the majority of contractors.
“Our employees and contractor partners have exemplified safety as a core value on the project, which was completed with zero lost time injuries,” said Hickey.
Local and provincial leaders were taken on a tour of the worksite in May 2018, when the build was at the half-way point.
“The No. 2 Acid Plant is the latest major investment to further strengthen Trail’s position as a world-class metallurgical facility and an important part of our business,” Shehzad Bharmal, Vice President, North America Operations, Base Metals, said at the May 22 event.
“Teck, as a company, is committed to the future of Trail Operations. That is why we have worked hard over the years to strengthen the operational and environmental performance of every aspect of the smelter.”
The acid plants are part of zinc production processes, and convert SO2 (sulphur dioxide) gas into sulphuric acid.
Sulphuric acid is sent to Warfield Operations for use in fertilizer production and it is sold in the open market for other industrial applications.
Technology used in the new builds will further reduce SO2 emissions.
Teck Trail Operations houses one of the world’s largest smelting and refining complexes, which produces refined zinc and lead and a variety of precious and specialty metals, chemicals, and fertilizer products. The smelter employs approximately 1,400 people and has been in operation for over a century.