The unique project results from a partnership between AmerenUE, Charah(R), Inc. of Louisville, Ky., and The Home Depot(R). The concrete mix will be prepared and packaged at the facility in fully recyclable two-handled plastic bags from Charah. It will then be distributed to Home Depot stores in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
The 60,000 tons of ash being recycled for concrete mix represents about half of Labadie's annual production of bottom ash. Ultimately, AmerenUE officials hope to recycle all of Labadie's bottom ash.
In addition to the ash being used to make concrete mix, more than a year's worth of Labadie's bottom ash\-200,000 tons\-was used as structural fill for the state-of-the-art plant. Charah, an ash management firm, has a similar facility in Virginia, but this is the first to operate in the United States on power plant property, closest to the source of the ash.
Bottom ash and fly ash result from burning coal to generate electricity. The heavier bottom ash settles out of the gas stream in the combustion process, while the lighter fly ash is collected in precipitators. Labadie's precipitators collect virtually all of the plant's fly ash before it can go out of the plant's stacks. Ash is not classified as a hazardous waste by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), and Ameren companies have recycled it for years in various applications, including blasting grit, roofing shingles, cement and concrete manufacturing, structural fill, and snow and ice control.
"This is the best example yet of Ameren's ongoing initiative to find beneficial uses for the materials that result from burning coal to generate electricity," said R. Alan Kelley, Ameren Senior Vice President, Generation. Last year, Labadie Plant burned a record 11 million tons of coal to generate 18 million megawatthours of electricity\-also an all-time record.
"This project will reduce the overall cost of generating electricity, save valuable landfill space and help the environment," Kelley added, noting that using ash as a partial replacement for cement to make concrete mix also reduces emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2)\-the primary "greenhouse gas."
Charah, Inc. annually processes 250,000 tons of bottom ash and markets it to the concrete block and concrete mix industries in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.
"We are committed to providing our partners the highest quality products that offer innovative, environmentally conscious solutions," said Charles Price, president and CEO of Charah. "By using our expertise to manage ash materials, Charah allows our customers, like AmerenUE, to fully concentrate on their primary responsibility of producing electricity."
Charah and Ameren are charter members of the U.S. EPA's Coal Combustion Products Partnership (C2P2), which encourages beneficial use of coal by- products. In April 2005, Charah was awarded the prestigious C2P2 first-place award for Innovation by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for its outstanding achievements in increasing the amount of coal combustion products (CCPs) beneficially used. Charah's award was for its achievements in developing the new, patent-pending concrete mix and packaging currently sold at The Home Depot stores in the Virginia market and now entering the market in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
"Charah's packaging is the most exciting, powerful innovation in the bagged concrete industry in 70 years," said Giles Bowman, Merchandising Vice President for Building Materials for The Home Depot. "The sealed plastic bag is sturdy, and the two handles make it very easy for our customers to lift and carry. At the same time, this packaging is less likely to break than traditional paper bags."
Financial terms of the agreement between the three companies were not disclosed.
About the Companies
AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
Charah(R), Inc. is a leading ash management provider for the coal-fired electric utility industry. Based in Louisville, KY, Charah provides a complete line of ash management services, including landfill management and operations, bottom ash processing and marketing, structural fill applications, beneficial use, ash pond management and Integrated Gasification Combine Cycle (IGCC) slag beneficiation. For more information, please visit www.charah.com.
The Home Depot(R) is the worlds largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,087 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. Through its HD Supply SM businesses, The Home Depot is also one of the largest diversified wholesale distributors in the United States, with more than 900 locations in the United States and Canada offering products and services for building, improving and maintaining homes, businesses and municipal infrastructures. In fiscal 2005, The Home Depot had sales of $81.5 billion and earnings of $5.8 billion. The company employs approximately 355,000 associates and has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as the No. 1 Most Admired Specialty Retailer and the No. 13 Most Admired Corporation in America for 2006. The Home Depots stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poors 500 index.
The QUIKRETE(R) Companies are the largest manufacturers of packaged concrete in the United States and an innovative leader in the commercial building and home improvement industries. With more than 80 manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and South America, The QUIKRETE(R) Companies have unsurpassed product distribution and depth. The QUIKRETE(R) Technical Center ensures that professionals and consumers alike are provided with the most innovative and highest quality products available on the market. For additional information, please visit www.quikrete.com.
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