Holcim (US) hosted the inaugural celebration of its newest plant located in Ste. Genevieve County, Mo, today. Company executives were joined by officials from the Obama Administration, Members of Congress, local and state elected officials, community leaders and others who have been instrumental in making the project a reality. Ten years after Holcim (US) first announced plans for the project, the Ste. Genevieve Plant is now producing cement that is being used throughout the Midwest. This plant, one of the largest cement manufacturing facilities in the world, will also be among the most environmentally efficient and safest.
"As we continue to rebuild our nation’s transportation infrastructure through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this new and more efficient plant will play a key role in helping meet the demand for high-quality, American-made cement," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who spoke at today’s event. "The Ste. Genevieve Plant will create jobs and play an important role in our economic recovery."
The Ste. Genevieve Plant represents a more than US$1bn, long-term commitment to Holcim (US) customers and the community. It is the largest single-kiln line, cement-producing facility in the world and has the capacity to produce 4Mt of high-quality cement annually.
The plant has 250 employees and began operations in 2009. According to a study conducted by the Center for Economic and Business Research at Southeast Missouri State University, the economic impact of the Holcim (US) Ste. Genevieve Plant will be substantial in Missouri. The plant has already been a boost for the state’s economy by creating and supporting thousands of jobs and leading to millions of dollars in annual economic activity.
"This is a great day for our customers, our company, our community and this country," said Holcim (US) President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Terver. "This project has already created hundreds of manufacturing and construction jobs and, combined with our strong distribution network, uniquely positions Holcim (US) to provide consistently reliable, domestically-produced cement throughout the central part of the United States for generations to come."
The Ste. Genevieve Plant is the latest example of the company’s commitment to sustainable, long-term projects. In addition to extensive emissions controls, the majority of the property around the plant has been set aside and will be preserved and protected in its natural state. Holcim (US) is working with an expert conservation partner to manage the habitat surrounding the plant. The company has already created or restored more than 60 acres of new wetlands to offset any impacts from construction. The plant will ship up to 75 percent of its product to terminals by barge, among the most environmentally efficient means of transportation. Many of the raw materials (coal, gypsum, fly ash) used to make cement at this plant will be shipped by river. The company also has in place an ongoing reclamation plan which will restore the land that has been mined, ensuring that no more than 200 acres of land is actively mined at any one time.
"This state-of-the-art project shows how environmental protections and economic growth can coincide," said Terver. "We believe the Ste. Genevieve Plant has established an important precedent for future manufacturing projects."