47 Years of Service
SEFA was founded on the principles of integrity, honesty, service, and hard work, and these principles remain part of SEFA’s culture today. The company, originally named Southeastern Fly Ash, quickly built a reputation for developing mutually advantageous relationships within the utility and construction industries, focusing on technical service to concrete producers.
SEFA expanded its service to concrete customers with its own transportation services to deliver fly ash.
Demand for fly ash was increasing as the construction industry embraced the longer-term durability of concrete structures built with fly ash. At the same time, the supply of usable fly ash was decreasing. SEFA was determined to find a solution for customers to have a continual supply of fly ash on a consistent basis. The company focused on innovation for the future. After devoting significant resources and evaluating multiple technologies, SEFA chose thermal beneficiation.
First CBO Plant
Working closely with one of its original utility partners, South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), which later became Dominion Energy South Carolina, the first thermal beneficiation facility for fly ash was built at Wateree Station outside of Columbia, South Carolina. The facility was owned by SCE&G and utilized PMI Ash Technologies’ Carbon Burn Out (CBO) technology. Commercialized in 1999, SEFA operated and maintained the CBO facility and marketed all product ash.
Growth in Other Regions
As the company expanded beyond the Southeast and increased its presence in transportation, the business name was changed from Southeastern Fly Ash to The SEFA Group.
SEFA designed and installed a CBO facility at Santee Cooper’s Winyah Station located in Georgetown, South Carolina. This beneficiation facility was owned, operated and maintained by SEFA, and SEFA marketed and sold all product ash. The Winyah CBO produced upwards of 300,000 tons per year at its peak, and prior to being converted to a STAR Plant in 2014, recycled more than 2 million tons of fly ash that would have otherwise been disposed of by the utility.
Recognizing the need for additional innovation to meet market needs and regulatory requirements for quality fly ash derived from a variety of sources, SEFA developed its patented STAR thermal beneficiation process. The STAR Process provided advantages over previous thermal beneficiation technologies, allowing SEFA to process fly ash that no existing technology could process, and providing an even higher quality product. SEFA designed and built its McMeekin STAR Plant in Columbia, South Carolina, which began operations in February 2008. Its feed ash was dry production ash, transported in pneumatic tankers from offsite generating stations.
Second STAR Plant
The second STAR Facility, located at GenOn’s Morgantown Station in Maryland, was designed to recycle up to 350,000 tons of fly ash annually and was the largest facility of its kind in the world. SEFA’s role in the development and operation of the facility was all encompassing, including process engineering, operations, and maintenance of the facility, and exclusive marketing and sale of STAR Ash to ready mixed concrete suppliers in Maryland and northern Virginia.
First in the World
The Winyah CBO was decommissioned to be replaced with a first-of-its-kind STAR Facility. The Winyah STAR Plant was the first facility in the world to process coal ash from on-site impoundments, as well as production ash. The Winyah STAR Facility was constructed at Santee Cooper’s Winyah Generating Station in less than nine months and became fully commercial on April 1, 2015. The Winyah facility has reclaimed and processed over 4 million tons of coal ash from production ash and on-site impoundments as of November 2023.
Demand for SEFA Transportation services steadily increased as a result of the dedicated service and excellent reputation of SEFA Drivers and Dispatchers. In 2015, SEFA purchased a trucking company in Georgetown, SC, more than doubling its transportation fleet to better serve customers and increase reliability of delivery.
SEFA Industrial Solutions
In 2016, SEFA’s engineering and construction group expanded and formed SEFA Industrial Solutions to provide integrated installation of systems and equipment, specializing in industrial mechanical construction, industrial electrical infrastructure, and instrumentation and control systems.
NC STAR Plants
The process of recycling coal ash from Duke Energy's STAR Plants began in 2020. SEFA operates and maintains the Buck, HF Lee, and Cape Fear STAR facilities and transports STAR Ash to SEFA’s concrete customers.
Each of these facilities is producing beneficiated fly ash which is recycled in concrete roads, buildings, bridges, and other important structures in North Carolina, making them stronger and more durable. These beneficiation sites combined will produce upwards of 1 million tons annually of premium material for the local concrete market.
First STAR Plant Retired
The McMeekin STAR uniquely processed fly ash originating from more than 16 different facilities with feed LOIs ranging from 5 to 25%. Over 1.3 million tons of high LOI fly ash was processed into premium quality Class F fly ash with a typical LOI at or below 1.0%. The McMeekin STAR facility completed its mission, cleaning up all the available coal ash on the site, and was retired in 2022. It had proven the commercial success of the STAR Process for over 14 years.
SEFA Acquired by Heidelberg Materials
SEFA was acquired by Heidelberg Materials on May 2, 2023, and is now part of one of the world's largest integrated manufacturers of building materials and solutions with leading market positions in cement, aggregates, and ready-mixed concrete.