Catskill plant closure to be made permanent, USA

Catskill plant closure to be made permanent, USA
Published: 24 February 2012

Tagged Under: Plant Closure USA Catskill Holcim 

Holcim is reportedly permanently closing its Catskill plant in the state of New York, USA, according to a local news report which cites notice given to the Department of Environmental Conservation which seeks permission for Holcim to dispose of cement production waste remaining at the plant.

Last June, Holcim mothballed the plant citing poor economic conditions but left open the possibility that one day the plant could reopen. At the time, the company said it would maintain permits at the plant and continue basic maintenance, allowing it to resume operations or find a new operator.

Local newspaper, the Times Union, however has reported Holcim Communications Vice President, Robin DeCarlo, as saying: “When we announced last year, we thought we would be able to restart. Today we think we can.” She said depressed economic conditions, including depressed global demand for cement and its price are unchanged. A skeleton staff will remain at the plant for an undetermined period, DeCarlo said.

DeCarlo said the permanent closure of the Catskill plant was announced in January by Holcim's headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, rather than by its US office. That announcement appeared as a single sentence within a 16 January news release about the company's worldwide financial condition.

That release said Holcim was writing off about US$35m in the fourth quarter of 2011 to reflect permanent closure of two US plants – the one in Catskill and one in Artesia, Miss.

Holcim took over operations from St. Lawrence Cement in January 2008. Cement has been produced at the facility for about a century, and the plant was formerly operated by St. Lawrence Cement and Independent Cement.

Holcim's closure in Catskill would leave the state with two cement plants, the Lafarge plant in Ravena and the Lehigh Northeast plant in Glens Falls.