Ash Grove prepares for expansion, US

Ash Grove prepares for expansion, US
Published: 08 May 2006

Ash Grove Cement Co is investing approximately $190m in Arkansas to expand its current Portland cement plant in Foreman. As Arkansas’ only cement manufacturing facility, the Ash Grove Foreman plant will help meet the growing demand for cement, a building block of economic growth. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2009; the plant’s portland cement capacity then will increase from 1Mta to 1.7Mt.

“Ash Grove is proud to be part of the region’s continued economic growth,” said Ash Grove Chairman and CEO Charlie Sunderland. “The state of Arkansas, the City of Foreman, its school district, Little River County and the surrounding region have provided Ash Grove with tremendous support over the years and helped make our decision to expand possible.

“With this $190m investment, our dedicated employees will be able to increase the plant’s capacity by 700,000tpa providing cement that is used to build future roads, homes, workplaces, schools and more,” said Sunderland.

The Foreman plant will continue to manufacture cement during the construction period. “In recent years, Arkansas, Texas and other nearby states, like the rest of the country, have had a growing need for cement,” Peterson said. “By expanding cement production capacity, Ash Grove is helping to fuel the economy by providing this base product that the construction industry needs to thrive.”

Through this rebuilding project, Ash Grove is taking the region’s cement industry to a new level, using state-of-the-art technology to improve the manufacturing process.

The investment will not only increase capacity to help meet the growing demand for portland cement, it also will introduce the latest control technology and fuel systems that decrease the impact of cement manufacturing on the environment.

As part of the expansion, the three wet-process kilns will be replaced with a single dry-process kiln. Dry process cement-making uses far less energy, thus saving more than 50 percent on fuel use and reducing combustion emissions, yet increasing plant production capacity by up to 70 percent. The new facilities also will enclose material storage and many of the crushing facilities used to prepare limestone and other constituents for the manufacturing process.