Displaying items by tag: US
US: A fire has been reported at LafargeHolcim’s Hagerstown cement plant in Maryland. An overloaded conveyor belt was the source of the blaze near the centre of the site that broke out on the evening of 20 February 2017, according to the Herald-Mail newspaper. High temperatures prevented fire fighters from tacking the fire immediately and it burned for over an hour.
US: Summit Materials cement business’ sales revenue rose by 49% year-on-year to US$250m in 2016 from US$168m in 2015. Its sales volumes of cement grew by 37% to 2.36Mt from 1.72Mt. Its adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 51% to US$113m from US$74.8m. It attributed the improvement to higher prices, cost reductions production efficiencies and increased sales volumes due to the acquisition of the Davenport cement assets in July 2015
“Our cement business represents a clear catalyst for growth heading into 2017,” said Tom Hill, chief executive officer of Summit Materials. “Limited domestic production capacity and continued growth in US demand have combined to create opportunities for sustained growth in industry industry pricing. During the fourth quarter, our cement segment generated organic price and volume growth of 6.8% and nearly 1%, respectively. Looking ahead to the remainder of 2017, we anticipate continued adjusted EBITDA growth in our cement business, as supported by sustained growth in organic cement prices and sales volumes along the Mississippi River corridor.”
Mexico: Elementia’s cement division’s sales revenue in Mexico rose by 30% year-on-year to US$155m in 2016 from US$119m in 2015. Its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 39% to US$65.9m from US$47.3m. It attributed the result to increased prices and a higher capacity utilisation rate.
The cement producer noted that its 1.5Mt/yr upgrade to its Tula cement plant is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2017. The company also competed its acquisition of a 55% stake in US company Giant in the fourth quarter of 2016.
US: Vulcan Materials has elected David P Steiner to its board of directors. Steiner will serve on Vulcan's Safety, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee and the Governance Committee. Steiner most recently served as chief executive officer of Waste Management from 2004 to 2016, a North American waste management services company that covers collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery services as well as landfill disposal. He currently serves on the board of directors of FedEx Corporation.
Vulcan also announced that Elaine L Chao has stepped down from the Board after being confirmed by the US Senate to serve as US Secretary of Transportation. Secretary Chao joined Vulcan's Board in February 2015.
US: Loren Neil Peterson, the co-founder of Vortex, has died at the age of 87. After starting working with dry bulk solids at Salina Manufacturing in the 1950s, Peterson founded Vortex with his son-in-law Lee Young in 1977. His inventions included a type of slide gate called an Orifice Gate that was patented in 1980 and which received the John C Vaalar Award by Chemical Processing Magazine judging it ‘a major contributor toward more efficient and effective operation of plants in the chemical processing industry’. His other innovations included the Wye Line Diverter, Roller Gate and Fill Pass Diverter. He was awarded his last patent for the Clear Action Gate in 1990, a year after he retired in 1989.
“Neil was great. Nobody worked harder than him. When I left Salina, I looked everywhere for the same calibre of engineer. Unfortunately for me, he was one of a kind,” said Joe Walton, former chief executive officer and president of Walton/Stout.
US: SSI Shredding Systems has appointed Paul Breithaupt as its Director of Engineering. He will be overseeing the day-to-day engineering operations as well as working to optimise SSI’s internal processes and products.
Breithaupt has been working with an engineering consulting firm in Portland, Oregon for the past seven years. There he primarily worked on capital projects for major food manufacturers such as Nabisco. He holds a degree in Manufacturing Engineering from California Polytechnic State University.
US: The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has welcomed the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by the US Senate.
“We congratulate Pruitt on his confirmation and look forward to working with him in the years ahead,” said PCA president and chief executive officer (CEO) James G Toscas. “His experience and background are strong indicators that we will see a common-sense approach to regulations that protect public health and the environment. We have always believed that the best regulatory solutions derive from adherence to the intent of the enabling legislation, together with an honest consideration of the perspectives and concerns of all involved, including public stakeholders, the regulating agency and the regulated industry. We believe and expect that Pruitt will restore balance to the regulatory process."
US: Cemex USA has officially opened its new headquarters in Houston, Texas. Division president Ignacio Madridejos marked the event by presiding over a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site at 10100 Katy Freeway in Memorial City in west Houston. More than 200 employees are now working at the new offices.
“These new offices show how Cemex USA stands strong,” said Madridejos. “This beautiful building will be part of the community for years and illustrates our commitment to being part of it.”
US: Cemex has completed the sale of its Fairborn cement plant in Ohio and a cement terminal in Columbus to Eagle Materials for US$400m. Cemex said proceeds from the sale will be used for debt reduction and general corporate purposes. Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisor to the cement producer for the transaction.
Italy: A recovery in sales volumes in Central and Eastern Europe has helped Buzzi Unicem maintain stable sales in 2016. Its net sales rose slightly to Euro2.67bn in 2016 from Euro2.66bn in 2015. Cement and clinker sales volumes remained flat at 25.6Mt. It also reduced its net debt to Euro942m from Euro1.03bn. The cement producer reported slowing sales growth in the US, a decline in Russia and a continued ‘marked’ fall in sales in Italy.
By region, the cement producer said that cement and clinker sales volumes fell by 6.2% year-on-year due to a reduction in exports. Volumes rose in Germany by 3.4% despite low prices and oil well cement demand picked up in the last quarter of the year. Poland reported a 11.9% boost in volumes, driven by the second half of the year, despite lower prices compared to 2015. In Russia sales volumes started to improve in the second half of the year hitting an overall decline of 1% as a decline in construction industry investment started to soften. Also of note, sales of oil well cement started to recovery towards the end of the year.
Cement sales volumes in the US started to decline throughout the year, eventually falling by 1.7%, with a notable weakness in demand in Texas, particularly in the Houston area. Again, oil well cement products declined over the year as a whole but showed signs of recovery in the final months of the period. Finally, Buzzi Unicem’s associate company Corporación Moctezuma saw its cement sales volumes rise slightly compared to 2015, supported by rising prices.