Ash Grove Cement has acquired a new import terminal facility from Goldendale Aluminum in Portland — a move, Ash Grove said, that will allow the company to increase its annual supply to the region by up to 800,000t of Portland cement.
Ash Grove is the only one of Portland’s four cement suppliers that does not currently import offshore cement to the Northwest. Ash Grove has instead supplied Oregon and Idaho from its Durkee manufacturing plant in Eastern Oregon. The Goldendale facility, scheduled to open in September, will allow Ash Grove to begin importing cement from manufacturers in China and India.
The facility is located on the Willamette River adjacent to Ash Grove’s current facility, which has storage capacity of 18,000t. The new facility brings capacity for Ash Grove’s Portland operation to 72,000t and increases its waterfront property to three-quarters of a mile. The Goldendale terminal offers storage capacity of up to 54,000t that could help maintain a larger, more easily accessible cement supply in Portland.
"The Northwest and Rocky Mountain areas have been a very hot market in the last few years," said Dave Baker, vice president of sales for Ash Grove in Portland. "As a result, we saw an opportunity here to buy this other terminal where we can import and supplement our supply to better serve the market."
Ash Grove currently has five cement manufacturing plants in the Northwest and has expanded two of them in the past five years, increasing production to 900,000t from 500,000t. The company has also begun construction on a new facility in Las Vegas but doesn’t expect production there to begin until 2009.
"The Ash Grove expansion is going to add more capacity to the Northwest cement market. Plus, it’s probably going to help alleviate some problems inland in states farther east because of the access to rail that they’ll have," said Kevin Richardson, a Portland-based sales representative for Lafarge, the world’s largest cement producer.