Lehigh Hanson ceremoniously broke ground last month to mark the start of site preparations for construction of its new Lehigh Cement Co. plant in Mitchell, Ind. The company will invest more than $600 million in the modernized facility, which will expand the existing plant’s operations.

The new plant will allow for an increase in production capabilities while significantly reducing energy usage, fuel consumption, and emissions per ton of cement produced through latest in cement production technology and equipment.

“Today, we are celebrating the start of a new legacy. With this ceremonial groundbreaking, we are beginning a journey to transform our business in Mitchell,” said Lehigh Hanson’s North Region President Dennis Dolan during the event. “This journey promises good things for all of us. A new state-of-the art cement plant for Lehigh Hanson and our employees. And, new jobs, economic growth and opportunity to Mitchell, Lawrence County and the state of Indiana.”

The groundbreaking ceremony follows approval of the air construction permit by Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) this summer. IDEM’s Office of Air Quality issued the permit in July, allowing Lehigh to construct a new cement kiln system and material handling equipment at the Mitchell plant. Lehigh will install one kiln that will replace its current three kilns. The new system will increase production capacity while also significantly reducing energy usage and emissions per ton of cement produced.

Other notable economic and environmental benefits of the project include:

  • Approximately 50 newly created full-time jobs.
  • More than 1,000 construction positions during the approximate four-year project span.
  • Technical training and growth opportunities for plant employees.
  • State-of-the-art technology to improve operating efficiencies.
  • Recycling and energy efficiencies.

“On behalf of Governor Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, it’s an honor to take part in today’s milestone announcement for Lehigh Hanson and for southern Indiana,” said Chris W. Cotterill, chief operating officer, IEDC. “Choosing Indiana for their largest modernization efforts in North America is a testament to Indiana’s pro-growth business climate and a dedicated, skilled workforce, and we are grateful for all they’ve done to take southern Indiana to the next level.”

Full scale construction of the new Mitchell plant is slated to begin next year with startup scheduled in the third quarter of 2022.