Top LafargeHolcim mills sustain portland limestone momentum

The Holcim (US) Ste. Genevieve plant in Missouri and Lafarge Alpena plant in Michigan have transitioned to production of OneCem portland limestone cement (PLC), lowering by 10 percent the carbon intensity of their ordinary Type I/II powder. A high-performance blended cement milled from conventional clinker and up to 10 percent finely ground, premium limestone, OneCem has been rigorously tested and proven to serve as an effective binder in concrete for buildings and infrastructure. The Ste. Gen and Alpena mill conversions follow similar action last year at the Holcim (US) plant in Midlothian, Texas. 

“As demands on the industry to reduce its carbon footprint intensify, we find ourselves with an unparalleled opportunity to build a more sustainable future,” says LafargeHolcim US Cement Senior Vice President of Sales Patrick Cleary. “The materials used in building need to have the lowest embodied carbon possible without sacrificing performance—and this is where our low-carbon OneCem can make an immediate impact in helping customers achieve their sustainable construction goals.”

Holcim Ste. Gen is largest cement-producing facility in North America and one of the world’s most technologically advanced and environmentally efficient operations of its kind. It runs the largest single-kiln line in the Americas, with capacity of 4.5 million metric tons/year to serve markets throughout the Mississippi River Basin. Lafarge Alpena is one of North America’s longest-operating mills, on the other hand, and is equipped to produce 2.4 metric million tons of cement annually for Great Lakes, Upper Midwest and Ontario markets.

By converting their operations to the low-carbon OneCem product, the Michigan and Missouri plants will collectively reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 300,000 metric tons each year. The producer shipped over 2 million tons of OneCem in 2021, resulting in a CO2 reduction of 100,000 metric tons.


On the heels of a late-2021 deal for Minnesota’s Marshall Concrete Products, LafargeHolcim has acquired the ready mixed concrete and aggregate assets of Cowden Inc. in Bellingham, Wash., consummating the transaction through its Aggregate Industries subsidiary. The business will operate as Cowden, a division of Aggregate Industries Pacific Northwest. More than 100 Cowden team members are included in the transition. 

“The acquisition strengthens our presence in this strong growth market while contributing to Aggregate Industries’ overall strategy to expand our range of sustainable construction materials,” says René Thibault, head of North America for ultimate parent Holcim AG.

Founded in 1945, Cowden Inc. has grown to encompass five concrete and sand & gravel production or distribution sites plus transportation services—stressing customer experience in commercial and residential orders. “We live here and work here, [and] know how important it is for our customers to be able to continue to have a trusted local supplier,” affirms President Brent Cowden.