Holcim Opens Ste. Genevieve Cement Plant

Holcim hosted the inaugural celebration of its newest plant located in Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., last week

Holcim hosted the inaugural celebration of its newest plant located in Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., last week. Company executives were joined by officials from the Obama administration, members of Congress, local and state elected officials, community leaders and others.

Ten years after Holcim announced plans for the project, the Ste. Genevieve Plant is producing cement distributed throughout the Midwest. This plant, one of the largest cement manufacturing facilities in the world, will be among the most environmentally efficient and safest, the company says.

"As we continue to rebuild our nation's transportation infrastructure through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this new and more efficient plant will play a key role in helping meet the demand for high-quality, American-made cement," Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said at the event. "The Ste. Genevieve Plant will create jobs and play an important role in our economic recovery."

The Ste. Genevieve Plant cost more than $1 billion and is the largest single-kiln line, cement-producing facility in the world. It has the capacity to produce 4 million metric tons of high-quality cement annually.

The plant has 250 employees and began operations in 2009. According to a study conducted by the Center for Economic and Business Research at Southeast Missouri State University, the plant's economic impact in Missouri will be substantial. The plant already has boosted the state's economy by creating and supporting thousands of jobs and leading to millions of dollars in annual economic activity, the company says.

"This is a great day for our customers, our company, our community and this country," said Holcim President and CEO Bernard Terver. "This project has already created hundreds of manufacturing and construction jobs and, combined with our strong distribution network, uniquely positions Holcim to provide consistently reliable, domestically produced cement throughout the central part of the United States for generations to come."

In addition to extensive emissions controls, the majority of the property around the plant will be preserved in its natural state. Holcim is working with an expert conservation partner to manage the habitat surrounding the facility. To date, the company has created or restored more than 60 acres of new wetlands to offset any impacts from construction. The plant will ship up to 75% of its product to terminals by barge, among the most environmentally efficient means of transportation. Many of the raw materials (coal, gypsum, fly ash) used to produce cement at the facility will be shipped by river. The company also has in place an ongoing reclamation plan, which will restore the land that has been mined; no more than 200 acres of land is actively mined at any one time.

"This state-of-the-art project shows how environmental protections and economic growth can coincide," Terver said. "We believe the Ste. Genevieve Plant has established an important precedent for future manufacturing projects."