Canadian Premium Sand Plans Float Glass Facility in Manitoba
March 2, 2021
Officials from Canadian Premium Sand Inc., or CPS, announced a shift in the company’s business strategy to focus on developing its Wanipigow, Manitoba, silica sand deposit into a sustainable float glass manufacturing and coating facility.
The proposed CPS float plant would be the only glass manufacturing site in Canada. Plans for a previously announced Canadian float plant in Ontario from Xinyi Glass Canada have been indefinitely suspended in the wake of community pushback and deferred action from the local city council.
“Today there is not a single float glass manufacturing facility in Canada,” said Glenn Leroux, president and CEO of CPS in a company release. “Every pane of glass utilized in this country is imported. … 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.”
According to the CPS announcement, the new float plant 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 shift in CPS’ 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, according to officials. The internal review was supported by an independent business study commissioned by CPS and conducted by an independent international glass markets focused consulting group, GlassGlobal Consulting GmbH. According to the review, the greater Winnipeg 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.