Expansion kicks up production
Demand for cement in the United States is growing again – so much so that St Marys Cement has decided to extend and modernize its operations in Charlevoix, Michigan. In fact, the project will expand capacity by 40 percent.
Whether for buildings, bridges or roads, cement is all around us. In the United States, all indicators point to growing demand after a six-year slump. To satisfy this demand, St Marys Cement – a Cana-dian company owned by Brazilian building materials supplier Votorantim Cimentos – is currently expanding and modernizing its operations at its site in Charlevoix, Michigan, with a $130 million investment project. St Marys Cement will benefit with a 40 percent rise in production capacity at the plant, from 1.4 million tons annually to 2 million tons annually. For owner Votorantim Cimentos, the project is contributing to increasing cement production in the Great Lakes region.
Siemens is providing a complete engineering and electrical equipment solution for the Charlevoix project. The Siemens scope of delivery covers medium-voltage drives and the entire process automation and instrumentation, from the Cemat PCS 7 process control system through to medium- voltage switchgear type GM-SG-AR (5 to 15 kV) and modular, pre-produced E-House substations for a fast, reliable energy supply. The Siemens solution will enable St Marys Cement to not only reduce the costs of project completion, but also minimize the risk of a power outage.
The project in Charlevoix is just one in a line of projects Siemens has completed for St Marys Cement. One of the more notable projects of late was an update of the weighing technology at the production facility in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. For the weighfeeders, which had been in service since the 1980s, Siemens installed new technology based on its award-winning MSI solution. Going back to the 1990s, Siemens also installed most of the solids flow meters and the belt scales during an expansion.
For Siemens, the projects with St Marys are a chance to contribute to the North American cement business. And for St Marys, a chance to tap the reviving market.
Joe Holmes, Rubin Boyd
Picture credits: Siemens AG
Headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, Votorantim Cimentos is one of the world’s largest cement producers, with sister companies active in the metal, steel and power sectors The company is a part of the Brazilian Votorantim Group, which is active in over 20 countries around the world. Part of Votorantim Cimentos, St Marys Cement has been in operation for more than 100 years.
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