Construction of the US’ largest cement plant in Ste. Genevieve County is on track for its scheduled completion next year, its plant manager said Thursday. However, even as one-third of the plant has been finished, company officials are worried about the cost of electricity and what may happen if the company cannot switch from Citizens Electric Cooperative to Ameren.
"We hope to be here for a long time," plant manager Jeff Ouhl told members of the media Thursday during a tour of the Holcim plant. "Our company hopes to be good citizens in this community."
Scheduled to open in 2009, Holcim’s $1 billion facility will employ 250 workers and produce about 4 million metric tons of cement each year. It will become the second Holcim plant in Missouri. The other facility is in Pike County.
Holcim officials said that in addition to the creation of full-time jobs with an annual payroll of more than $10 million, taxes generated in Ste. Genevieve will total $25 million over 10 years.
"This plant has been and will, hopefully, continue to be a huge economic asset in the region," Ouhl said. "It has already created thousands of construction jobs over the course of the construction, and we are now hiring our plant staff as we move forward to operation."