Canadian Manufacturing

CN to serve new frac sand transloading terminal in northwestern Alberta

Di-Corp facility north of Grande Prairie, Alta., will have annual throughput capacity of 550,000 tons

EDMONTON—CN Rail says it will start serving a new state-of-the art frac sand terminal in northwestern Alberta later this year.

According to the rail firm, it will begin serving the 20-acre facility being built Di-Corp north of Grande Prairie, Alta., in November 2013.

The terminal will have an annual throughput capacity of 550,000 tons of frac sand and have three tracks capable of holding 44 rail cars for unloading.

“Di-Corp is an important customer of ours, and we expect to help the company move more frac sand to energy market,” CN vice-president of industrial products Doug MacDonald said in a statement.

“The new transloading terminal will create additional offloading and storage capacity at destination and also give our origin frac sand producers in the (American) Midwest, Manitoba and elsewhere greater supply chain efficiencies and new market opportunities.”

Frac sand is used by oil and gas industries in the hydraulic fracturing process to hold shale fractures open and let natural gas and oil flow out.

CN is investing significantly in its frac sand franchise in recent months.

Last month the company announced it was accelerating work on the $33-million upgrading of a 74-mile rail line between Wisconsin Rapids and Blair, Wis., to increase car-loading capacity and train velocity for growing frac sand supply chains.

In 2012, CN spent $35-million to restore a 40-mile rail line between Ladysmith and Poskin, Wis., to serve the frac sand market.

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