Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, S.A.B. de C.V. (GCC) announced that the expansion of its Rapid City, S.D., cement plant became operational, adding 440,000 metric tons of capacity to the existing plant.
The expansion of the Dacotah cement plant began in 2016, with a total investment of around $105 million. It increases the plant’s production capacity to 1,167,000 metric tons 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,” said Enrique Escalante, GCC’s chief executive. “We will be able to serve our customers better and operate our cement logistics network more efficiently with the additional capacity.”
GCC has 5.8 million metric tons of total cement production capacity. Of this, 3.6 million is in the U.S., with plants in Pueblo, Colo.; Odessa, Texas; Tijeras, N.M.; and Trident, Mont., in addition to the Rapid City facility. 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 metric tons, 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.