The Lafarge cement plant in Massac County, Illinois. will have a second kiln up alater this year.
“Cement consumption has been increasing now for the last couple of year,” says plant manager Michael Klenk.
He says Lafarge is going to take advantage of that, firing up the second kiln, building a new third kiln by 2016, and hauling more limestone out of its quarry in Cave-in Rock.
Klenk said there will be “an additional 30 to 40 jobs between this location and our Cave-in Rock location.”
But just three years ago, 36 jobs were cut, like many others, during the recession.
“We suspended operations. It seemed to be flat from 2009 to 2012, and we’re seeing now a rebound,” he explains.
Klenk hopes that trend will continue. “The Portland Cement Association is looking at an increase of about 7-and-a-half percent in consumption this year alone, and with probably very similar growth next year,” he says.
And when businesses grow the community gets to share in that wealth. “It’s local businesses, contractors, restaurants, things of that nature. It’s not just the jobs we add, but the investment we’re putting back in,” Klenk says.
While they’re growing here at the plant, that will also help them meet the rising need of cement that will be used in homes, businesses and new infrastructure.