Project details

Lafarge Canada Inc. (Lafarge)’s Exshaw cement plant has been in operation for over a century. To meet the future demands of the construction industry, Lafarge increased the capacity of the Exshaw plant by 60 percent with their Kiln 6 expansion project, making it the largest producer of cement in Canada. Completion of the Kiln 6 plant expansion was imminent when Lafarge asked CWA to help redesign their railcar loadout system.

The rail loadout facility at the Exshaw plant consisted of two 3,000-tonne concrete storage silos with rail loading facilitated by a single loading spout that would draw from either storage silo via an air slide conveyor. The existing system could only fill one railcar at a time, which could not meet the increased demand from the Kiln 6 expansion. A new, higher-capacity railcar loadout system that could load two railcars simultaneously had to be designed.


The potential varying sizes of the railcars needed to be considered when determining the optimal locations for the loadout spouts. CWA worked with the air slide vendor to allow the spouts to move in order to accommodate minor misalignments or different railcar hatch arrangements. Four new low-profile rail scales that would fit the varying railcar lengths were also incorporated into the system.


Working with both Lafarge and the equipment vendor, CWA optimized the layout and design of the new air slide system. CWA reconfigured the existing steel support floor framing to accomodate the new air slide and the existing dust collection ducting was modified for the new air slide and spout locations. CWA also developed the detailed electrical and controls design for the new loadout system.

As it was critical to minimize the shutdown outage at the loadout, CWA developed a comprehensive demolition schedule and construction sequencing plan. Special provisions for heating the loadout area were necessary as the construction took place during the winter.

CWA is proud to support Lafarge, the world’s largest producer of cement and other diversified construction materials, in meeting their goal of increased capacity and efficiency.