Ash Grove Cement Company in Inkom to suspend production


Updated Tue, 25 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT

 Ash Grove Cement Company is announcing plans today to alter operations at six of its 10 manufacturing plants in the Midwest and Western United States due to poor economic conditions that continue to affect the entire U.S. cement industry.

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

Employees at six facilities will be affected by today's announcement. Production at certain individual facilities will be affected beginning in late November (see list below) and plants are expected to resume production on a rolling start-up basis as sales demand dictates. Approximately 220 employees will be affected.

"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.

"The economic downturn affecting the entire cement industry is an ongoing concern," said Ash Grove spokeswoman Jacqueline Clark.

"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."

The decision to suspend production was made because of continued poor economic conditions resulting in a decrease in the demand for cement and concrete products. The Portland Cement Association (PCA), the cement industry's trade association, indicates that U.S. cement consumption is not beginning to rebound, following three consecutive years of unprecedented declines in demand. The most recent PCA forecasts project that demand may not tick upward for two more years.

Ash Grove will suspend production at the following locations. Dates listed below are projected as product demand will affect inventory levels and may affect furlough dates.

Midwest Region:                                                          Furlough Effective Date

Chanute, Kan., Cement Manufacturing Plant                    Jan. 2, 2012   

Foreman, Ark., Cement Manufacturing Plant                   No Planned Furlough

Louisville, Neb., Cement Manufacturing Plant                  No Planned Furlough

Midlothian, Texas, Cement Manufacturing Plant              No Planned Furlough

West Region:

Durkee, Ore., Cement Manufacturing Plant                      Dec. 5, 2011

Inkom, Idaho, Grinding Plant                                          Dec. 5, 2011

Leamington, Utah, Cement Manufacturing Plant              Week of Dec. 26, 2011

Montana City, Mont., Cement Manufacturing Plant          Dec. 19, 2011

Seattle, Wash., Cement Manufacturing Plant                   Week of Dec. 26, 2011

Rivergate, Ore., Grinding Plant                                       No Planned Furlough