Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, S.A.B. de C.V., (GCC) announced that the expansion of its Rapid City, South Dakota cement plant became operational at the end of last year, adding 440,000 metric tons (mt) of capacity to the existing facility.
The expansion of the Dacotah cement plant began in 2016, with a total investment of around US$ 105 million. The expansion increases the plant’s production capacity to 1,167,000 mt and is expected to reduce variable production costs.
The tie-in of the new facilities was completed in late November. Production, which had been suspended during the tie-in process, has resumed and the new facilities are in the stabilization process.
“The Rapid City expansion comes at an opportune time, as our U.S. 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,” GCC’s CEO, Enrique Escalante said in a statement.
GCC has 5.8 million mt of total cement production capacity. Out of it, 3.6 million mt is in the U.S., with plants in Pueblo, Colorado; Odessa, Texas; Tijeras, New Mexico; and Trident, Montana, in addition to Rapid City. 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 2.3 million mt, with plants in the city of Chihuahua, Juarez, and Samalayuca, all 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.