Titan America LLC announced that project economics no longer support the construction of a cement plant in Castle Hayne, N.C. According to company officials, the evolution of supply and demand balances in the specific regional markets does not support the relatively high cost of constructing a new cement plant.
“Our decision to suspend construction on the cement plant in Castle Hayne is driven by basic project economics,” said Bill Zarkalis, Titan America’s CEO. “The pace of demand growth in the specific markets does not seem adequate to justify the addition of substantial new production capacity – more so because the costs to construct a new cement plant in the United States have risen substantially in the past few years. Finally, the overall risk profile of the project has worsened as new coastal capacity in North Carolina could be vulnerable to cement imports, considering the strong U.S. dollar, the global cement supply situation and low ocean freight costs.”
Zarkalis added, “Our parent company, the TITAN Group, continues to be committed to long-term growth in the United States. Titan America has emerged strong from the unprecedented crisis in the U.S. construction industry. We hold leading positions in the markets we operate across the eastern U.S. and we are once again experiencing significant growth, together with our customers. To fuel our growth, we are investing in excess of $250 million between 2014 and 2016. Looking to the future, Titan America continues to evaluate opportunities for accelerated and sustainable growth. The Castle Hayne option simply does not meet our economic criteria.”
Titan America serves its North Carolina customers from its Roanoke cement plant in Virginia, with an integrated logistics network of cement distribution terminals, warehouses and more than 20 ready-mix concrete plants. All of the company’s existing North Carolina operations will continue to run as normal; no employees’ jobs will be affected by the Castle Hayne decision.
“North Carolina is an attractive place to do business and we remain committed to continue to grow here. We’ve had operations here for more than twenty years and we value our relationships with our customers, our suppliers and the community overall. All of our existing North Carolina operations will continue to run the way they have; no jobs in these operations will be affected by this decision,” said Robert Sells, Titan America’s Mid-Atlantic business unit president. “We wish to use this opportunity to thank our partners, advocates, and state officials for their confidence and unflagging support for this project.”