Ste. Genevieve plant of Holcim (US) will ensure cement supply for many years to come


The new cement manufacturing facility of Holcim (US) at Ste. Genevieve with a production capacity of four million tonnes per year was inaugurated on June 4, 2010. The plant that went on stream mid-2009 will be one of the most environmentally-efficient cement plants in the Holcim Group. It is 40 percent more energy-efficient than the Holcim (US) plants that were closed in 2009 and emits 10 to 25 percent less CO2.

The new Ste. Genevieve cement plant had been under construction since 2005, went on stream mid-2009, and was inaugurated on June 4, 2010. It is a world-class facility with a single-kiln line and has an annual production capacity of four million tonnes of cement, which makes it one of the world's largest cement manufacturing facilities. "This state-of-the-art plant and our robust network of terminals and distribution assets will ensure a reliable supply of the highest quality cement to our valued customers today and for many years to come", said Bernard Terver, President and CEO of Holcim (US), proudly.

Over the past decade, Holcim (US) has expanded its production capacity in the west, south, and southeast of the United States, but it still needed a more modern and reliable plant to serve the central part of the country. The new plant in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, boosts Holcim's market presence throughout the river system of the Midwest, right down to the Gulf of Mexico.

With its own port and loading facilities on the Mississippi, the factory is a model facility in every respect and is highly energy-efficient. Compared with the Holcim (US) plants shut down (Dundee and Clarksville) the improvement per tonne of cement equals around 40 percent. CO 2-emissions per tonne of cement are 10 to 25 percent lower than the norm, mainly due to energy-efficient transportation, with barges handling approximately 75 percent.

Transportation on waterway, rail and road

Ste. Genevieve, Missouri was chosen as the best site for this new plant for several reasons: a plentiful supply of good-quality limestone, a high-quality workforce, and good access to target markets via key transportation networks including waterway, rail and road. The spine of the waterway network is the Mississippi River, over 3,700 kilometers long. This system serves ten of the twenty largest cities in the United States. The Ste. Genevieve plant has its own slack-water harbor on the Mississippi, allowing efficient and low-cost transportation of six million tonnes of materials annually.

Comprehensive safety program

Achieving excellence in safety has been a prime concern during construction, commissioning, start-up, and operation of the plant. Holcim (US) developed new procedures and policies for this large greenfield project and its many unique challenges, including commissioning and start-up. Safety remained a chief concern during start-up, as activities shifted from construction to operation and the associated change of hazards required a change of mindset. During the four years from start of construction to initial operation, over 7.5 million man-hours were worked on-site by 2,500 workers, and the plant maintained a recordable incident rate of about a third of the average for the US construction industry.

Committed to Sustainable Development

In maintaining Holcim's commitment to sustainable development, the plant will be one of the most environmentally-efficient cement production facilities ever operated. Holcim has made major efforts to both minimize emissions and protect air quality along with the conservation and preservation of natural resources. Holcim invested in cutting-edge equipment with high plant efficiencies, optimized raw materials, and energy efficient transportation opportunities.

While about 1,700 acres will be permitted for quarry and plant operations, ongoing reclamation will ensure that only a portion is opened at any given time. Holcim has restored more than 60 acres of wetlands on the property. Other than the on-site quarry materials, up to 75% of the plant's materials and products will be received and shipped by river, maximizing both energy and environmental efficiency. Jeff Ouhl, Ste. Genevieve Plant Manager, said, "As we continue to strive toward safety and sustainability, this plant is a true testament to the many people who worked so hard to get us to this point. Holcim customers can now look forward to years of consistently performing, high quality product from the Ste. Genevieve Plant."