Holcim prepares to dispatch the bulk of its GranCem slag business

Lafarge Group and Holcim’s US assets – which the companies are preparing to unload shortly after their proposed merger – include ground granulated blast furnace slag cement grinding plants.

The plants are unusually located near dense population centers: Camden, N.J., 700,000 tons/year capacity, located on the Delaware River, overlooking Philadelphia; and, Chicago Skyway, 600,000 tons/year capacity, on a Lake Michigan inlet near the Illinois-Indiana border.

The Camden and Chicago Skyway plants, which finish the branded GranCem powder, plus four terminals in Illinois and Michigan (portland cement) and Massachusetts (GGBF slag), are the Holcim (US) contributions to a package of assets Lafarge Group and Holcim Ltd. have negotiated with the Federal Trade Commission, which is charged with reviewing mergers’ effect on market concentration. FTC approval would weigh on US operations of the merged LafargeHolcim.

The Lafarge North America portion of the asset package entails a Davenport, Iowa, cement plant and seven terminals along the Mississippi River. In a joint announcement on the US asset package, Lafarge and Holcim noted an agreement with Summit Materials on the Iowa and Mississippi River assets.

No suitor was named for the slag cement operations, sale of which will leave Holcim (US) with one GranCem operation: Birmingham, Ala., with about 500,000 tons/year capacity. LafargeHolcim would have upwards of 2 million tons of domestic slag cement capacity, based on the Birmingham output, plus Lafarge NA plants at Sparrows Point, Md., 1 million-plus tons/year, and South Chicago, 400,000-plus tons/year.


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