Tue, July 16

Phoenix Cement breaks ground for <br>modernization: $115 million project begins<br><br>

An official groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of Phoenix Cement Company’s $115 million modernization initiative at its Clarkdale facility.

Texas-based Zachry Construction Corp. will act as contractor for the job. Zachry will be responsible for developing all phases of the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which is slated for completion by September 2002.

Approximately 160 people braved cold and snowy weather to attend the groundbreaking event, held in a heated tent on the grounds of the cement plant.

Speakers included Ivan Makil, president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and chairman of Phoenix Cement’s Board of Directors, and Vincent Randall, chairman of the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Clarkdale Mayor Andy Virscik said, "Our community is pleased to see the long-term commitment and fiscal responsibility from the owners of Phoenix Cement. This project and the community-minded attitude of the management enhance the quality of life for all our citizens."

"This groundbreaking is one of the final steps towards making our modernization a reality," said Roger Smith, Jr., president of Phoenix Cement. "We’re excited to be working with Zachry, a world-renowned company that has the tools and talent to develop what will be the most technologically advanced cement plant in the United States."

Developed over three phases, the modernization is expected to employ between 250 and 450 construction workers and take approximately 19 months to complete.

Phoenix Cement also has contracted with Fuller Company of Bethlehem, Pa., for the purchase and delivery of modernization equipment that includes new energy-efficient roller mills and a new five-stage, low-No kiln system for the manufacture of clinker, the principal component of portland cement. The company expects the new system to have a production capacity of up to 3,805 tons per day.

A revised air quality permit, which was issued by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality in September 2000, allows the company to update its 40-year-old cement production process and install an overall cleaner, more fuel-efficient manufacturing system.

The first phase of the modernization will include the addition of a new 4,000 horsepower vertical roller mill to be used for grinding clinker into finished cement. Developed by Onoda Cement and Kobe Steel, the new OK mill will have a production capacity of 130 to 140 tons per hour and uses 25 percent less electricity per ton than the ball mills currently in use.

It will be the first installation of its kind in the United States. Another, more traditional roller mill will be installed for grinding raw material, with similar energy efficiency.

The new kiln system will be completed during the modernization’s final phase. In addition, the company will be adding a new two-story building for use as a central control room and laboratory.

Zachry is a privately held construction company, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. The company provides a wide array of services including construction, project development, construction management and industrial maintenance to both domestic and international customers. Zachry constructs and maintains power plants, steel mills, pulp and paper mills, chemical plants and refineries. Dams, reservoirs, airfields, runways, highways, wastewater treatment plants and commercial construction are also included in Zachry’s portfolio.

Fuller Company is a member of the F.L. Smidth-Fuller Engineering Group, a worldwide designer and manufacturer of cement process equipment.

Phoenix Cement Company is one of Arizona’s leading manufacturers of portland cement and other building products. Founded in 1959 by the American Cement Company to supply materials for the development of Glen Canyon Dam, Phoenix Cement serves markets throughout Arizona as well as Colorado, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Phoenix Cement Company has been a division of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community since 1987.