As part of a U.S. portfolio streamlining aimed at debt reduction, Cemex S.A.B. de C.V. has reached an agreement to sell its Odessa, Texas, cement plant and two terminals, plus El Paso and Las Cruces, N.M., building materials businesses to Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, S.A.B. de C.V. Absent from the $306 million deal are Cemex Colorado assets—Lyons mill, Florence terminal—included in an original transaction the producers outlined earlier this year. Subject to competition authority and shareholder approvals, the revised deal will be consummated through Cemex and GCC U.S. affiliates and is projected to close by year end.
In the East, Dallas-based Eagle Materials Inc. has agreed to acquire Cemex’s Xenia, Ohio, (Fairborn) cement plant, plus Columbus terminal, cement bagging operation and related assets. The $400 million deal is projected to close in the fourth quarter and stands to increase the suitor’s cement output by up to 20 percent. With nearly 1 million tons’ annual grinding capacity, the Fairborn mill joins Eagle Materials’ Illinois Cement, Mountain Cement, Nevada Cement and Texas Lehigh Cement (joint venture with Lehigh Cement Co.) heritage operations, plus rebranded Central Plains Cement and Skyway Cement (GGBF slag) businesses. The latter were acquired in 2012 and 2016, respectively, from Lafarge North America and Holcim (US) Inc.
“Our strategy has been to grow the cement side of our business. The Fairborn plant extends our U.S. cement system and connects but does not overlap with the market reach of our existing plants,” says Eagle Materials CEO Dave Powers. “This high-quality cement plant is a compelling fit with our strategic objectives and criteria for new investment. These assets will allow us to participate more fully in the U.S. construction industry and position the company in target heartland growth markets.”
MAPEI AMERICAS EYES CEMENT ADDITIVES
Mapei S.p.A. is extending the production of its cement additives C-ADD Division to the Americas, including the launch of grinding aids, strength enhancers, Cr(VI)-reducing agents and dust-control technology.
“We look forward to serving the large cement producers in North America with the support of our global organization,” says Mapei Americas CEO Luigi Di Geso. “Our additives will help these companies to achieve their own sustainability efforts as we contribute to the improvement of the environment and help to reduce the costs of cement production.”
C-ADD agents increase production 10 to 20 percent, lower grinding process energy consumption, and reduce wear on cement-finishing components, he contends. They arrive as the American cement market leans toward binder solutions with lower portland cement clinker factor, which in turn equates to carbon dioxide emissions reduction.
C-ADD production has commenced at a Garland, Texas, Mapei Corp. plant and a Madison, Ill., plant of subsidiary GRT Inc. A third facility will be commissioned in Logan Township, N.J., supporting service to East Coast and Eastern Canada cement plants. A technical services laboratory is currently being set up at the Garland facility, outfitted with ASTM standards-grade equipment and instruments to measure additives’ chemical and physical properties, plus effect on cement finishing and performance.