Essroc, Lafarge, St. Marys idle cement kilns

Essroc, Lafarge, St. Marys idle cement kilns
Published: 20 November 2008

In addition to the Holcim (US) Missouri and Michigan plant closings, 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 1Mta. Both companies (as well as Holcim) have indicated plans to continue the mills’ grinding and/or distribution operations. The capacity cuts coincide with marked drop off in cement shipments, based on US Geological Survey figures through August 2008. USGS notes, for example, these YoY (through August) shipment declines for: Illinois, 190,000t; Michigan, 370,000t; and Missouri, 270,000t.

Along the Mid-Atlantic region, Essroc Materials (an Italcementi company) has pushed ahead a long-scheduled plan to close its 360,000tpa Frederick, Md., plant, employing 90 workers. The company announced it would still use the site as a distribution center but would consolidate clinker production at its Martinsburg, WV, mill, which is scheduled to get a US$500m upgrade. Essroc had planned to decommission the Frederick plant in the next two years, but advanced the action for financial reasons.