Texas Industries Inc. has begun a US$350m expansion at its Hunter Plant
that will boost its cement-making capacity from 900,000t to 2.3Mta. TXI
already is the largest cement producer in the state. Mexican cement maker
Cemex SA also is expanding its New Braunfels plant in a US$250 million
Construction will take two years, and the plant will in operation by the end
of 2009. San Antonio-based Zachry Construction Corp. will lead the
contracting job. Zachry also partnered with TXI to expand a plant in
California, which will begin production this month.
Last week, TXI reported third-quarter net income of $17.9 million, which was
down 40 percent from $29.4 million a year ago. The company said the results
were because of delays caused by the summer’s above-average rainfall and
delays due to maintenance work on some of its other plants.
Although the housing market is struggling, that has not had a large impact
on TXI, which relies more on commercial and public projects than
residential, according to Morningstar analyst Parrish Glover.
"We’re seeing pretty good spending on public works projects," Glover said in
a phone interview. "That’s one of the reasons (TXI is) strong in California
and Texas. The extent to which infrastructure projects will be scaled back
because of housing will affect them a little bit. But Texas is currently
facing a supply shortfall."