Clarksville plant site may never be used again

Clarksville plant site may never be used again
Published: 08 December 2008

Hopes are dimming that another use can be found for a Pike County plant set to close next year.

Holcim Inc. announced Nov. 11 that its cement plant on Highway 79 two miles north of Clarksville will shut down, leaving 181 people without work.

There had been hopes that 20 jobs could be kept in the facility’s barge-loading and quarry operations.

A Holcim spokeswoman said there are no current plans to keep any part of the 3,600-acre site open once operations cease.

“We’re still working through the process, but I have no definite dates,” said Holcim spokeswoman Nancy Tully.

The layoffs will have a widespread impact and are expected to start in January, with employees getting 90-day notices.

A team from the Missouri Department of Economic Development will then come in and provide workshops, job fairs and other services.

A cleanup crew of 20 to 30 workers will stick around until its duties are done, perhaps as long as next September.

In addition to the Clarksville plant, a similar facility in Dundee, Mich., will be shut down, resulting in the loss of 159 jobs.

In a statement, the Swiss-based company blamed the closings on “the extensive downturn in the demand” for its products and that the decline was “especially significant in the Midwest.”

The Clarksville plant each day produces 4,000 tons of clinker, a primary ingredient in Portland cement.

Holcim has said the closings  have nothing to do with construction of its $1 billion cement plant in Ste. Genevieve County 55 miles south of St. Louis.

Work there began in March 2006 and completion is scheduled for next year. Clarksville employees can apply for jobs at other Holcim facilities, but openings are limited.