LafargeHolcim, CenterPoint enter 6-million ton ash recycling phase

Sources: LafargeHolcim, Chicago; CP staff

LafargeHolcim and waste management subsidiary Geocycle have logged the first coal ash shipment in a multi-year initiative with CenterPoint Energy Inc. Delivered by barge via the Mississippi River, the 2,000-ton load will replace natural clay and fine aggregate as raw feeds at the Holcim (US) Ste. Genevieve mill in Missouri, North America’s largest cement operation.

“This milestone is a tangible example of how industry participants can develop creative and efficient solutions that contribute to the circular economy. Together, LafargeHolcim, Geocycle and CenterPoint Energy will avoid landfilling for power plants and reduce the consumption of non-renewable raw materials. This is a clear win-win for people and our planet,” says LafargeHolcim U.S. Cement CEO Toufic Tabbara. 

The partners have invested more than $80 million in infrastructure to extract, process, store and consume coal combustion residuals (CCR)—primarily bottom ash plus non-spec fly ash—from a 165-acre pond at the utility’s A.B. Brown generating station in Evansville, Ind. They project recycling of 6 million-plus tons of ash over the current contract. It extends a 12-year program during which Geocycle has harvested and dispatched to Ste. Genevieve nearly 1.5 million tons of dry fly ash waste from A.B. Brown and two Indiana sister generating stations. 

With careful material sourcing and testing, the new initiative advances the treatment of ponded CCR, traditionally written off for use in cement and concrete production. Geocycle’s beneficiation technology, tested on CenterPoint site and other generating station deposits, is being deployed in markets experiencing fly ash shortages due to the ongoing retirement of coal-fired power plants.

“Our initiative with LafargeHolcim and Geocycle has been the ideal solution as it has allowed for the material to be removed from the environment and used for beneficial purposes,” affirms CenterPoint Senior Vice President, Indiana Electric Operations Steve Greenley. “Our decision to recycle coal ash has reduced the impact on the environment and allowed for a choice with less financial impact than other compliance options.”

“This significant circular-economy relationship with CenterPoint Energy is a powerful example of how our recycling management business seeks innovative solutions to turn ecosystem challenges into opportunities that contribute value to our operations and advance commitment to a Net Zero future,” observes Geocycle North America Head Sophie Wu.

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