Texas Industries Inc. announced that the second kiln at its Hunter cement plant, near New Braunfels, Texas, has achieved operational status. Following a successful commissioning process which began in November 2012, the 1.4-million-ton kiln line has realized its design performance capabilities and is producing efficiently.

The company also announced that it will accelerate maintenance and upgrade projects on the original production line, Kiln 1, to more quickly meet the growing needs of the marketplace. Pending successful completion of plant maintenance and equipment upgrades, TXI expects to bring Kiln 1 back online during the first quarter of 2014. Combined with the newly added capacity of Kiln 2, the upgrades will enable TXI Hunter to efficiently produce and ship approximately 2.3 million tons of cement each year, more than double its original capability.

“We initially projected a more extended period of downtime for the original line after Kiln 2 was brought into full operational status. However, market conditions in central and south Texas continue to point to sustained recovery and strength, and we simply need the additional capacity earlier than originally thought,” stated Jamie Rogers, TXI’s vice president and CEO. “It is clear that TXI’s mission to serve our customers is best met by utilizing all of our capacity in as swift a manner as feasible.”

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