US: Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua (GCC) says that the upgrade to its Rapid City cement plant in South Dakota has started operation. The expansion has added 0.44Mt/yr of production capacity to the unit taking its total capacity to 1.18Mt/yr. The project cost US$105m and it started in 2016. Tie-in of the upgrade was finished in late November 2018. Production was suspended during the tie-in-process and has now resumed. The new facilities are now being stabilised.
“The Rapid City expansion comes at an opportune time, as our US cement plants are running nearly at full capacity, and we expect to see continued, steady growth in demand across our market area. We will be able to serve our customers better and operate our cement logistics network more efficiently with the additional capacity,” said Enrique Escalante, GCC’s chief executive officer (CEO).
GCC has 5.8Mt/yr of cement production capacity. Of this, 3.5Mt/yr is in the US, with plants in Pueblo in Colorado, Odessa in Texas, Tijeras in New Mexico, Trident in Montana and Rapid City in South Dakota. GCC expects to ramp up the new production capacity at Rapid City gradually over the next 18 to 24 months, in accordance with market conditions.
GCC’s cement production capacity in Mexico is 2.3Mt/yr from plants in Chihuahua, Juarez and Samalayuca in Chihuahua state. In the third quarter of 2018, GCC reactivated two idled kilns in Chihuahua to increase production of both oil well cement and construction cement.