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Ash Grove Cement Company to suspend production

World Cement,

Citing the poor economic conditions affecting the entire sector, Ash Grove Cement Company has announced plans to alter operations at six of its 10 cement plants in the Midwest and Western regions of the US.

Production will be temporarily suspended at six plants, as inventories continue to rise and seasonal demand is projected to decrease due to the onset of the winter season. Product shipments to current and prospective customers will not be affected, as Ash Grove will draw from inventories built over the past several months.

By late November of this year, production at six will be suspended. This is expected to affect approximately 220 employees. Plants are expected to resume production on a rolling start-up basis as sales demand dictates.

“The furloughs this year are less extensive than those in the previous two years because we will work on special projects in select departments and perform regular maintenance on our facilities, which will shorten the furlough period for some employees,” according to Ash Grove Senior Vice President of Manufacturing Mike Hrizuk.

Ash Grove spokeswoman Jacqueline Clark, added: “The economic downturn affecting the entire cement industry is an ongoing concern.”

“It is very difficult for our employees and the company to experience a furlough for the third consecutive year,” said Clark. “As in the past two years, we will do our best to support our employees and the communities in which we operate during this period.”

Continued poor economic conditions resulting in a decrease in the demand for cement and concrete products, made this decision inevitable.

Following three consecutive years of unprecedented declines in demand, the Portland Cement Association (PCA), the cement industry’s trade association, has indicated that US cement consumption is not of the verge of rebounding. Instead, the most recent PCA forecasts project that demand may not grow for two more years.

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