Argos USA channels cement kiln-derived CO2 to ready mixed concrete

Sources: CP staff; CarbonCure Technologies, Halifax, N.S.

Argos USA has anchored a five-member consortium targeting a closed loop model of carbon dioxide capture and recycling in cement and concrete production. In an early-2018 demonstration, the company used CO2 from its Calera, Ala., cement plant in commercial concrete produced at its Glenwood, Ga., batch plant. That Atlanta-area ready mixed operation is among nearly 100 sites, primarily in the U.S., equipped with CarbonCure Technologies CO2 storage and injection devices. The CarbonCure process uses the greenhouse gas to promote cement hydration in high to zero slump concrete.

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Paris-leery EPA enlists cement, concrete interests in real pollution reduction

This month’s United Nations (Conference of Parties) COP 23 meeting in Bonn, Germany, will differ much from COP 21, the gathering that spawned the “historic” Paris Climate Accord. Delegates are sure to perpetuate the fretting that accompanied President Donald Trump’s decision to exit an agreement to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.

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Ash Grove deal lifts CRH/Oldcastle to its latest plateau

Sources: CRH Plc, Dublin; CP staff

In nearly 40 years of North American market development, CRH has announced the boldest move yet for its Oldcastle Inc. enterprise: a $3.5 billion acquisition of Ash Grove Cement Co., Overland Park, Kan. Projected to close later this year, the deal brings integrated or stand-alone sites from the Great Plains to the Pacific Northwest: eight cement, 52 ready mixed concrete and nine packaged dry mix plants, along with 20 limestone quarries and 23 sand & gravel operations.

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PCA’s Sullivan maintains moderate cement shipment growth forecast

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; CP staff

Weighing market data and conservative baseline estimates for infrastructure spending and tax reform, PCA Chief Economist Ed Sullivan projects U.S. cement shipments increasing at 3.5 percent rates for 2017 and 2018. “While fiscal stimulus will boost consumption, other economic indicators will temper growth,” he told attendees of the IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Conference in Calgary. “Infrastructure policies also take time to implement, so you could be looking at 11 to 22 months before new projects truly get underway.”

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CalPortland approaches $100M in Energy Star-rooted savings

Sources: CalPortland Co., Glendora, Calif.; Environmental Protection Agency; CP staff

A 1.1 percent energy intensity reduction across ready mixed concrete, cement and aggregate operations, totaling $682,000 in savings, has netted CalPortland the 2017 EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award. Efficiencies attained in 2016 bring the West Coast producer to 15.6 percent energy intensity reduction and $96 million cumulative savings since 2003. 

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HeidelbergCement upbeat on Italcementi integration, 2017 outlook

Sources: HeidelbergCement AG, Germany; CP staff

Completion of a $4 billion merger involving Essroc Cement Corp. and sister Italcementi S.p.A. businesses, improved financials and credit ratings, plus declining energy costs, support especially positive investor guidance for the parent company of Lehigh Hanson, Inc. “2016 was an exceptional year,” affirms HeidelbergCement Chairman Dr. Bernd Scheifele. “With the successful takeover of Italcementi, we have accelerated our growth and are now in an excellent strategic position.”

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LafargeHolcim grows 2016 profits on tempered North American, global sales

Sources: LafargeHolcim Ltd., Zurich; CP staff

During its first full calendar year, LafargeHolcim reported lower U.S., Canadian and worldwide cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete shipments against 2015 levels, yet paced a three-year timeline of ambitious financial and operating benchmarks announced upon the Lafarge Group-Holcim Ltd. merger in July 2015.

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Cemex USA leaves nothing to chance in headquarters materials specs

Sources: Cemex USA, Houston; CP staff

The new home of 200-plus Cemex USA headquarters staff is designed to tell the story of company products through the use and display of concrete, cement and aggregate. Lending an industrial feel, effects include polished concrete hallway floors, cement-based wall tile treatments and handrails fabricated from rebar, which is also used as a circular ring bearing video monitors in the facility’s Customer Experience Center.

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Construction spending increase outpaces cement shipment gains

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; CP staff

The U.S. Census Bureau calculates the value of 2016 construction at $1.16 trillion, about 4.5 percent above the prior year’s $1.11 trillion total. The growth rate in spending eclipsed another principal metric: cement consumption, which Portland Cement Association pegged at 2.7 percent higher last year than in 2015. The variance reflects flat or lagging infrastructure project activity, where cement and concrete represent a higher slice of each dollar when compared to buildings. 

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ASTM C01 honors Lafarge veteran, Consumers Concrete chief Blair

Sources: ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.; CP staff

ASTM Committee C01 on Cement has presented the Bryant Mather Award to Bruce Blair, president and chief executive officer of Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Consumers Concrete Corp. Named for a long-time Corps of Engineers official—and an institution among ASTM and American Concrete Institute circles—the award recognizes contributions to the development and continued improvement of portland cement standards, and advancing the body of knowledge related to portland-limestone cement blends.

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