Concrete Products

JUL 2017

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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Page 45 of 107

44 • July 2017 COVER STORY BY DON MARSH Montreal-based McInnis Cement began portland cement clinker pro- duction and finishing at its eastern Quebec mill last month, triggering what will likely be a two-year ramp up to annual capacity exceeding 2 million metric tons (mt)—much delivered to concrete producers in Great Lakes, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets. "This milestone marks the work of hundreds of employees, work- ers and partners who have helped make our plant a model for the cement industry, both in terms of performance and environment," said McInnis President and CEO Hervé Mallet, noting that early cement deliveries are set to begin shortly. Along with the initial cement output at the Port-Daniel – Gascons operation, where headcount has reached 100, McInnis has established a rail car fleet to serve Canadian and U.S. customers; sited two Cana- dian and two U.S. terminals along St. Lawrence Seaway and Atlantic Ocean routes; and, staffed Montreal (main and Canadian headquar- ters) and Stamford, Conn., (U.S. headquarters) offices with 10 sales and technical team members assigned to six territories. As a $1.5 billion greenfield project, the Port-Daniel – Gascons plant is the boldest North American cement capacity undertaking this decade and the first centered on Great Lakes and Northeast markets in generations. Approaching the 2014 groundbreaking at its remote site along the Gulf of St. Lawrence, McInnis Cement underscored a telling metric: Nearly 25 million short tons of capacity within a geographic area serving such population centers as Montreal, Toronto, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Cleveland is at least 50 years old. Since the 1960s or before, the industry has seen few if any play- ers akin to McInnis Cement: A genuine start up with rich limestone deposit along a deep waterway, but otherwise blank sheet to map strategies around entrenched incumbents and their plant and ter- minal networks. The Great Lakes, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets on the McIn- nis Cement radar embody upwards of one-third and one-half the U.S. and Canada population. The supply chains for concrete producers and other cement customers in those markets have shifted over the past five years, due especially to developments pre-dating and following the Port-Daniel – Gascons groundbreaking: Cement capacity constraints tied to recession-driven idling or plant retire- ment ahead of lower emissions thresholds in the Environmental Protection Agency NESHAP rule, effective September 2015; and, the 2015-2016 mergers of Lafarge Group-Holcim Ltd. and HeidelbergCe- ment AG-Italcementi SpA, which have rippled through four Canadian and U.S. subsidiaries, each with Northeast, Mid-Atlantic or Eastern Canada market stakes. MAGNIFICENT MILL Shown here from the south (cement and kiln fuel terminal fore- ground), McInnis Cement's Port-Daniel – Gascons plant is poised to be the greenest operation of its kind in North America, with hydroelectric power, high Btu fuels, high efficiency pre-heater and other advanced equipment lowering net carbon dioxide emissions per metric ton of output. AERIAL PHOTO: WG Productions, New Richmond, Quebec, for McInnis Cement

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