The new 20-acre facility being built by Di-Corp of Edmonton will have an annual throughput capacity of 550,000 tons of frac sand and have three tracks capable of holding 44 railcars for unloading. 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 said it is investing significantly in its frac sand franchise. The railroad announced last month it was accelerating work on a $33 million upgrading of a 74-mile rail line between Wisconsin Rapids and Blair, Wis., to increase railcar 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.
Trevor Derksen, vice president of marketing at Di-Corp, a distributor of specialty chemicals, parts, and accessories serving mining and drilling industries in Canada and the U.S said, “We are very pleased to be working with CN on this project in northwestern Alberta to help accommodate existing and expected growth in frac sand demand in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. CN is an outstanding partner, providing cost-effective and reliable logistics services from frac sand origin in the Wisconsin Basin to destinations in Western Canada.”
Doug MacDonald, CN vice president, Industrial Products, said, “Di-Corp is an important customer of ours, and we expect to help the company move more frac sand to energy markets. The new transloading terminal will create additional offloading and storage capacity at destination and also give our origin frac sand producers in the U.S. Midwest, Manitoba, and elsewhere greater supply chain efficiencies and new market opportunities. Customers are at the forefront of CN’s business agenda. Through operational and service excellence and continuing innovation, we are focused on creating value for its customers and transforming the railway into a true supply chain enabler.”