Canadian Premium Sand Inc. (CPS) announced a shift in the direction of its business strategy to focus on developing its Wanipigow silica sand deposit into a sustainable float glass manufacturing and coating facility.
This facility would be designed to utilize the best available technology with a focus on sustainability initiatives such as waste heat recovery and optimizing use of Manitoba’s abundant and inexpensive renewable electricity to set a new standard for low-carbon footprint glass manufacturing. The greater Winnipeg, Canada, area presents an opportunity for significant long-term manufacturing cost and logistics advantages for a float glass facility focused on energy efficient architectural glass or solar glass.
The shift in business strategy is the result of an internal review of the various applications for the company’s silica sand deposit which identified float glass manufacturing as a high potential application for which the company’s silica sand is ideally suited. Float glass manufacturing has shown better overall project economics and market stability compared to Wanipigow proppant production.
“Today there is not a single float glass manufacturing facility in Canada,” stated Glenn Leroux, president and CEO of CPS. “Every pane of glass utilized in this country is imported. Based on the business study and market projections completed by GlassGlobal, current dynamics in North America show a manufacturing supply deficit demonstrating the requirement for up to four additional float glass facilities by 2025 for North America to be self-sufficient. Establishing a float glass facility in Canada using responsibly sourced local raw materials and responsibly produced Canadian energy creates a unique opportunity to provide much needed sustainably manufactured float glass to Canadian, North American and international markets in an environmentally responsible manner.”
Preliminary test work shows that the Wanipigow Lower Black Island Formation (LBI) sand at the test site has potential for use in the manufacturing of ultra-clear, energy-efficient architectural float glass as well as solar glass for use in solar panels. The testing of a small subset of the company’s silica sand was conducted by the Institute of Glass and Raw Material Technology, an independent ISO/IEC 17025:2018 accredited laboratory specializing in glass and raw materials analysis.
The company expects to engage a Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) contractor during the first quarter of 2021 to work on site selection, facility design, site layout, and potential capital and operating costs. The company will also initiate offtake discussions in concurrence with the FEED study and add glass industry expertise to the management team to develop a robust business plan to achieve a final investment decision.
The company’s silica sand deposit is extensive as detailed in a National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) compliant Technical Report dated March 20, 2020. This report was based primarily on silica sand for the oil and gas industry. Based on the typical silica sand requirements of a single float glass plant, the company has ample silica sand supply to also pursue other industrial market opportunities.