Superior Silica Sands Expansion=Improved Freight Rail Service
On August 13, 2012 Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker lead a delegation of elected and business officials from the Canadian National (CN) Rail way at a groundbreaking ceremony for the New Auburn frac sand supplier, Superior Silica Sands. The ceremony took at the under construction site near the intersection of U.S. Highway 8 and 10 1/2 Avenue, just east of Poskin, WI.
The Texas-based Superior Silica Sands is building an 85-acre sand processing plant and rail storage facility adjacent to CN's Barron Subdivision. This new site will be capable of producing up to 2.4 million tons per year of high-quality frac sand products. CN Railway will provide rail service to the new plant, moving frac sand from northern Wisconsin to shale drilling areas across North America, including Western Canada.
This spring CN launched a $35-million project to restore nearly 40 miles of track between Ladysmith and Barron. CN will upgrade rail and replace railroad ties, repair culverts and bridges, and restore rail service along the line. The Barron Subdivision will connect to CN's North American rail network at Ladysmith and will be in service later this year.
Superior Silica Sands President Rick Shearer said: "We are excited to partner with CN on this project, which will open a new supply chain for our customers and allow us to reach new markets across North America. This major expansion allows Superior Silica Sands to realize its business model for dynamic growth." Shearer also stated, “We used this opportunity (groundbreaking ceremony) to celebrate what I call a partnership for progress, the fact that state, county and local governments came together and worked with us and the Canadian National to make this happen!”
Both projects are scheduled for completion by late November. Superior Silica Sands has invested more than $50 million in this frac sand operation, which is expected to bring more than 100 new jobs to the area.