The Lafarge Exshaw plant is conducting early-stage explorations into low-carbon fuels, reported the Rocky Mountain Outlook. At a Feb. 15 open house, experts from the University of Calgary, Pembina Institute, Geocycle and Millennium, and Lafarge Canada staff covered topics on Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA), air quality monitoring, potential alternative fuels and potential plant layouts to show where facilities would be placed on the Lafarge site.

With no guarantees on the future of coal and natural gas, Exshaw plant manager Jim Bachmann said just about every plant he’s worked at has had some sort of low carbon fuel that was burned. “None of these are new to cement plants,” said Bachmann. “[The Exshaw plant is] one of the last plants in Canada that hasn’t already begun that process.”

The plant is also considering the potential for pre-processing alternative fuels on site. By 2020, Lafarge is looking to replace 30 to 50 percent of its fossil fuel use at all of its Canadian plants with low carbon fuels.

Lafarge will assess in introducing low carbon fuels mixed with fossil fuels and document the greenhouse gases and air pollutants that result from burning the low carbon fuels. A Project Advisory Committee (PAC) has been formed to be kept up to date and give opinions on the proposed low carbon fuels process, which includes the Exshaw Community Association (ECA).

“We don’t want to get the cart before the horse, we’ve done that in the past and tried to push it through too quickly and it doesn’t end well,” said Bachmann. “We wanted to make sure we get a lot of public input and public consultation before we even go for a permit amendment.”

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