Sunday, February 17, 2019

Start in Sturgeon Blog


Welcome to the Start in Sturgeon Blog. Check here often for great articles about the County's Economic Development and other relevant issues.

Salt rocks the Ice

Does anyone share my frustration with the recent fluctuations in temperature and the resulting icy conditions? I can list several annoyances - thick layers of ice that seem to take the strength of Hercules to chip away, local roadways that are literally skating rinks, cancelled school buses, collisions and traffic delays…the list goes on.

This St. Albert Police cruiser rolled over while responding to another rollover. The RCMP officer survived with minor injuries.

Any of these situations has me praying that the roads and sidewalks I use are salted and sanded just before I leave home. I visited a mineral salt business in Sturgeon Industrial Park that helps us fight those icy conditions that seem to be occurring with such infuriating frequency – NSC Minerals Ltd.

NSC Minerals, a 28 year old business headquartered in Saskatoon, has been operating in Sturgeon County for 7 years and is currently a leading supplier of bulk and packaged rock salt for municipalities in Edmonton Region including Fort Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Sherwood Park and Stoney Plain to name a few. Their bulk products are used for a variety of applications such as highway de-icing, livestock feed supplements, hide curing, drilling muds, water softening, road stabilization, and industrial applications.

NSC Minerals’ storage facility in Sturgeon County is serviced by CN Scotford Yard. The majority of the facility’s bulk products are distributed within the Province of Alberta and Northern BC. NSC Minerals also has two modern operating plants with a daily production capacity in excess of 6,000 tonnes of salt crystals, located at Rocanville and Vanscoy, Saskatchewan. The production facilities are located in Saskatchewan where the salt is mined with potash deep under the Prairies.

The company started with two salt storage domes until it expanded its transload capacity. Over the years, the facility has evolved with the construction of a third storage dome, a shop and a truck washing bay. Two years ago, the Sturgeon facility started offering transload services and storage for fertilizer – a smart choice that now provides a steady revenue stream for the company throughout the year. Today, NSC Minerals is in the planning stages of a potential expansion project that could result in more rail car capacity and greater onsite storage.

Here is a brief photoblog of my visit to NSC’s salt storage facility. One of the foremen was kind enough to drive me around as he explained how the company ships salt every day with eight full time staff.