GCC Dacotah plant considers expansion, USA

GCC Dacotah plant considers expansion, USA
Published: 18 May 2012

The GCC Dacotah cement plant in Rapid City is considering a US$100m expansion of its main production line, according to local press reports.

The upgrade would increase the plant’s production capacity by about 20 per cent while allowing it to remove two 1950s production lines that have been idle since 2008, plant manager Steve Post said.

A construction permit application for the project is under review by the state Department of Environmental and Natural Resources. A 30-day public comment period on the plan is expected to begin in the next few weeks. If the state permit is approved, the plant would have 18 months to initiate the work and 10 years after the work begins to complete the project.

Whether the project will proceed depends on continued growth in cement demand, but Mr Post noted: “These changes will make the Rapid City plant one of the most efficient cement plants in the United States,” he said.

The plant is owned by Mexico-based producer Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua (GCC). Following the opening of GCC’s Pueblo plant in Colorado, the Rapid City plant laid off workers, idled less-efficient production lines and reduced capacity of the main production line, which was modernised in 2005. The Rapid City plant further reduced its workforce in 2009. The Rapid City plant further reduced its workforce in 2009 and 2011 as a result of decreased demand due in part to the national economic downturn.

But with the economy in recovery, especially in this region, the plant is forecasting that its main production line will be operating at full capacity later this year and will need to continue to add capacity to meet demand. “This project will provide the company with necessary capacity to supply key area markets from in-state,” Mr Post said.