Eagle Materials Inc. announced today that its subsidiary company, American Gypsum Company, plans to build a new high-speed, environmentally friendly gypsum wallboard plant near Georgetown, South Carolina. The new plant is designed to produce approximately 750 million square feet annually. Planning of the new plant is nearly complete with construction expected to begin in late 2005. Costs for the new plant are estimated to be approximately $125m. The new plant is expected to create approximately 100 new jobs in Georgetown County.
Upon completion, the new plant will be supplied with synthetic gypsum under a long-term supply agreement with Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state- owned electric and water utility. Santee Cooper’s coal-fired power plants will generate a synthetic gypsum by-product as the result of using scrubbing technology to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions. By utilizing the synthetic gypsum in its gypsum wallboard production, American Gypsum will convert waste that would otherwise be landfilled into a valuable building product. Additionally, the gypsum paper that American Gypsum uses is made from 100% recycled paper fiber creating a finished product from essentially 100 per cenet recycled materials.
Santee Cooper is expected to begin producing the wallboard-grade synthetic gypsum in 2006 and the new gypsum wallboard plant is expected to be operational in early 2007. The new wallboard plant expands American Gypsum’s geographical footprint to the East Coast and into a growing South Carolina economy. The new plant will also allow American Gypsum to serve its customers on a national level with a much improved nationwide distribution network.