Cement companies expanding capacity

United States cement companies are currently engaged in an aggressive $3.6 billion expansion that will increase clinker capacity by 16.2 million metric tons by the year 2010.

"The United States construction industry is ready to digest this large increase in capacity," said Ed Sullivan, chief economist for the Portland Cement Association (PCA). "Regions with a vibrant economic base dominate the location of plant expansions and the related escalation in private, commercial, and public infrastructure construction will require additional materials."

For example, the Mountain region with the rapidly growing populations of Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado accounts for 26 percent of total capacity expansions. The Central region of the United States is expected to have the largest number of capacity expansions, 37 percent of planned increases. The Mississippi River allows plants in this area to access a broad market.

According to the report issued by the economic research department of PCA, this represents a 17.3 percent increase in capacity compared to 2005 levels.

Based on announced and permitted plans, the growth includes a mix of greenfield sites, including a 3.9 million ton plant in Missouri, as well as modernizations, and expansions of existing facilities.

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