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Lehigh breaks ground on US$600 million cement plant in Mitchell

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

Lehigh Hanson Inc. has broken ground to mark the start of the construction of its new Lehigh Cement Co. plant in Mitchell. The company will invest more than US$600 million in the new state-of-the-art plant, 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 tonne of cement produced through modern equipment and the latest in cement production technology.

“Today, we are celebrating the start of a new legacy,” said Dennis Dolan, North Region President at Lehigh Hanson. “With this ceremonial groundbreaking, we are beginning a journey to transform our business in Mitchell. This journey promises good things: a new state-of-the-art cement plant for Lehigh Hanson and our employees, 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) in summer 2019. IDEM’s Office of Air Quality issued the permit in July 2019, allowing Lehigh to construct a new cement kiln system and material handling equipment at the Mitchell plant. The groundbreaking marks the start of the site preparations to begin full scale construction next year, and the new plant is slated for startup in 3Q22.

For the new plant, Lehigh will install one kiln that will replace its current three kilns. The new kiln system will increase production capacity while also significantly reducing energy usage and emissions per tonne of cement produced.

“This has been a partnership every step of the way to ensure that Indiana continues to be a pro-business state so that employers can give strong Hoosiers the opportunity to succeed,” said Congressman Trey Hollingsworth. “I could not be prouder of the work that is going to start here and go on for decades, right here at this location.”

“As a Main Street entrepreneur, I know firsthand that Lehigh Cement Co. will continue to be a valued member of the Mitchell community and I am proud that they picked Indiana for this investment,” said US Senator Mike Braun.

“On behalf of the Governor Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corp., it is an honour to take part in this milestone announcement for Lehigh Hanson and for southern Indiana,” said Chris W. Cotterill, Chief Operating Officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. “Choosing Indiana for their largest modernisation 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 have done to take southern Indiana to the next level.”

“This investment may be the single largest investment in Lawrence County’s history,” said J.D. England, Mayor of Mitchell. “The impact of this investment is sure to echo and impact many people, but none more profoundly than those right here in the place that I love. Lehigh, thank you for that.”

“Since this plant was established in 1902, Lehigh has taken a vested interest in how we can improve our plant and our community,” said Jerry Miller, Mitchell Plant Manager. “This expansion is an opportunity for Lehigh to invest in the Mitchell plant and in the Mitchell community.”

Mitchell sits atop a vast field of limestone – the key raw material to make cement – making it an ideal location to expand the company’s manufacturing in the Midwest. Cement is the essential ingredient in concrete, the most widely used construction material in the world. Lehigh Hanson remains committed to supplying cement for the continued growth of the Midwest US market.

When the project was announced in July 2018, Lehigh established a community advisory panel consisting of local business professionals, educators, elected officials, and other residents representing a cross-section of the community. The panel meets to discuss project progress, community input, and questions, and will continue to meet regularly throughout the construction process.

Earlier in 2019, Trade and Industry Development magazine awarded Lehigh Cement Co. a corporate investment community impact award in the corporate investment category for its commitment to economic development in Mitchell. Lehigh also celebrated Limestone Heritage Month in Lawrence County and invited the public to tour the cement plant while explaining how the cement manufacturing process will be updated when the new plant begins operation.

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US cement news Cement news 2018