St Marys Cement showed local residents its plans for upgrading its Charlevoix, Mich., cement plant at a public meeting held on Dec. 15, reported the Charlevoix Courier. Representatives from St Marys Cement and parent company Votoriam Cimentos were on hand to answer questions about the $130 million modernization plan.

St Marys Cement Operations Manager Randy Pryor gave a brief presentation about the upgrades to operations and associated pollution control equipment. “The investment in our Charlevoix facility is consistent with Votoriam Cimentos’ and St Marys’ global initiative to remain a sustainable and environmentally conscious leader in the industry,” Pryor said.

The modernization project will remain inside the current plant’s footprint and is expected to increase production capacity at the plant by 40 percent and add up to 10 full-time jobs. Approximately 300 temporary construction jobs will be created over the next 18 months. The company also plans to invest $29 million in pollution control equipment.

A new raw mill, preheater/precleaner, kiln modification, new cooler and new cement finish mill are part of the upgrades. Completion of the project is expected to be in mid-2017, when the plant is expected to temporally shutdown production. “There are critical points with the project that have to be tied together,” Pryor said. “We will build everything up and we will have a window of about 30 days shutdown to tie everything in.”

During that period employees will continue to work in other areas and attend training, Pryor added. “With all the new plant equipment training and some of the normal mill maintenance going on should keep the employees working,” Pryor said.

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