Lehigh earmarks $600M for Indiana mill modernization, rail upgrade

Sources: Lehigh Hanson Inc., Irving, Texas; CP staff

Lehigh Hanson’s most ambitious undertaking to date entails a four-year, $600 million-plus modernization and expansion of the Lehigh Cement Co. Mitchell plant, aimed at increasing capacity from present 662,038 metric-ton-per-year level; lowering energy usage and emissions per ton of finished cement; and, continuing to leverage the southern Indiana site’s limestone riches.

“The modernization of the Mitchell plant will enable us to produce cement more efficiently and sustainably through the use of state-of-the-art technology and the latest in environmental controls and systems,” says Lehigh Hanson CEO Jon Morrish. “The capabilities of the new plant will enable us to better serve our existing customer base in the Midwest while also expanding our reach in this growing market.”

Toward a 2020-2022 construction schedule, Lehigh Hanson anticipates a summer 2019 completion of plant and project permitting through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and is pursuing potential Indiana Economic Development Corporation incentives. The outreach follows the producer’s work in recent years with state and local officials to develop additional infrastructure serving the mill, topped by a road that links the property to IN-37 and curtails truck congestion in the center of town. Overall logistics will change as part of the Mitchell modernization to accommodate additional rail activity supporting increased cement shipments.