Inland Concrete Ltd. is calling its newly unveiled Strathcona concrete plant a perfect mix.
The $5.8-million facility, located on 5.6 acres in Strathcona County’s Sherwood Park just east of Edmonton, incorporates new technology, increases production capacity and is environmentally friendly.
The operation, which was actually commissioned last summer when manufacturing began, employs innovative technology such as a concrete reclaimer that takes unused concrete and separates all its ingredients for remixing in new batches at a later date.
All process water is contained and flows back into the reclaimer system for reuse in concrete production. It also utilizes two high-efficiency dust-collecting systems.
“It’s definitely a state-of- the-art plant from the mixing technology we’re using, and environmentally,” says Kelly Babichuk, Inland’s Edmonton- area manager, Planning for the new facility started three years ago, in conjunction with a University of Alberta study that looked at future growth patterns and marketplace trends. The report concluded the Sherwood Park site was a 98-per-cent optimal match.
Determining factors included the growth forecast for Strathcona County itself and the adjacent regions of Edmonton and Fort Saskatch-ewan, along with easy access to the Yellowhead Highway for raw material supply.
The Strathcona plant replaces a 40-year-old south Edmonton operation that Inland officials described as obsolete.
“The equipment was worn out, the location was no (longer) good and we were hauling material into an area that had become built-up and congested,” said John Moquin, vice-president and general manager of Inland Concrete, referring to the need for a new facility.
The new plant is rated at producing 144 cubic metres of concrete per hour and at times has exceeded that, said Moquin. The aging predecessor it replaces generated 95 cubic metres per hour.
The numbers translate to production levels of 150 to 175 truckloads of concrete per day at the Strathcona plant, or about eight to nine more loads per hour than the old facility that was located off the Sherwood Park Freeway and 50th Street.
In peak periods the plant will employ 60 people, with staffing levels averaging about 40.
Safety features of the Strathcona plant include flow of traffic in one direction through the yard, a first-aid room and in-slab heating to prevent ice buildup.
But it is the plant’s environmental benefits that were played up at its recent official inauguration.
“Our goal is haul nothing off the site that’s not a saleable product,” said Moquin. “We’re very close to 100-per-cent recycling.”
Onsite water recycling alone will save 800,000 litres per year, which comes primarily from its reclaimer system that also recovers gravel and sand.
“We want to be recognized not only for our commitment to quality and service, but also for meeting our environmental responsibilities in a responsive and pro-active manner,” said Babichuk. “Inland’s commitment to this vision created the new environmental management system (EMS), the first concrete company in the Prairie provinces to implement such a program.”
EMS includes preventing the occurrence of environmental incidents at the outset, integrating environmental effects into decision-making, establishing due diligence in the event that an incident does occur and a means of tracking Inland’s environmental performance.
Inland has been providing concrete services since 1910 and has locations throughout Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan.
The company operates in conjunction with Lehigh Inland Cement Ltd., Inland Aggregates Ltd. and Inland Pipe Ltd. as Lehigh Inland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lehigh Cement Co. Internationally, they form part of Heidelberg Cement.