In addition to the Holcim (US) Missouri and Michigan plant closings (note companion item), sharp declines in portland cement consumption throughout the
In addition to the Holcim (US) Missouri and Michigan plant closings (note companion item), sharp declines in portland cement consumption throughout the Great Lakes are forcing shut down of clinker production at St. Marys Cement, Dixon, Ill., and, Lafarge North America, Woodstock, Ont., sites. The kilns have combined clinker capacity of about 1.0 million tons annually. Like Holcim, both companies have indicated plans to continue the mills’ grinding and/or distribution operations. The capacity cuts coincide with marked drop off in cement shipments to the plants’ key markets. U.S. Geological Survey figures through August 2008, for example, show such year-over-year declines for Illinois of 190,000 tons; Michigan, 370,000 tons; and, Missouri, 270,000 tons.
Along the Mid-Atlantic region, Essroc Cement (an Italcementi company) has pushed ahead a long-scheduled plan to close its 360,000-ton/year Frederick, Md., plant, employing 90 workers. The company reports that it will still use the site as a distribution center but consolidate clinker production at a Martinsburg, W.Va., mill earmarked for a $500 million capital upgrade. Essroc had planned to decommission the Frederick plant in the next two years, but advanced the action for financial reasons.