Canadian National Railway will spend $35 million to improve frac sand shipment service in Wisconsin after signing a multiyear agreement with Superior Silica Sands.
The restoration of nearly 40 miles of track between Ladysmith and Barron is aimed at improving connections to shale drilling areas across North America, including western Canada. Texas-based Superior Silican Sands will build an 85-acre processing plant next to CN’s Barron’s Subdivision near Poskin, Wis.
Service connecting the Barron Subdivision and CN’s North American rail network at Ladysmith will start later this year. The facility will be able to produce up 2.4 million tons of frac sands and other products annually.
“Over the last three years, CN's frac sand market has grown nearly 70 percent, reaching 35,000 carloads and $100 million in revenue in 2011, and we hope that our end-to-end service focus will help us grow this market to become a $300 million business for CN in the next three-to-five-year horizon,” said Jean-Jacques Reuest, CN executive vice president and chief marketing officer.