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Newsbytes from the US

World Cement,

Ash Grove employees return to work
Last November, some fifty workers lost their jobs at Ash Grove’s Montana City plant due to declining demand. By next week, they will be back to work as the plant re-starts operations. In another positive sign for the company, FLSmidth Automation announced this week that it has won a contract to supply its ECS/ProcessExpert® system to Ash Grove’s Foreman plant. Although such news bodes well for the company, Ash Grove maintains that 2010 will be a tough year for the US cement industry.

Cemex’s Davenport plant closes
In light of the harsh conditions facing the US cement industry, Cemex’s Davenport plant has closed for good. It initially closed last March, but employees had hoped that they might be back to work when the economy improved. "It's a business decision, but it's a tough one," said Cemex spokeswoman Jennifer Borgen. "We've been in this community for over a century. It's a sad day."

Solar panels for Holcim
Holcim’s Portland plant in Colorado has become the first in the US to install solar panels to help power the plant. In total, 528 panels have been installed to produce 156 201 kWh of power – and the plant is consuming it all. The solar panels reportedly prevent 301 000 lb of CO2 emissions per year – an excellent contribution to the plant’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

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