Cement Americas

SPR 2017

Cement Americas provides comprehensive coverage of the North and South American cement markets from raw material extraction to delivery and tranportation to end user.

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www.cementamericas.com • Spring 2017 • CEMENT AMERICAS 11 significant opportunity to supply wall material requirements. The bordering states' clinker capacity totals 25.7 Mt and is currently op- erating at 77.1 percent utilization. This implies nearly 6 Mt of un- used capacity annually. Even if real world operating rates reduce utili- zation to 90 percent, nearly 3.5 Mt of domestic capacity exist to supply near-term demand. Capacity in southern California is estimated at 9.4 Mt annually. Based on 2016 levels of production, these plants are running at 79.6 percent utilization. Arizona and New Mexi- co's combined capacity is 3.3 Mt and currently operating at an es- timated 61.4 percent utilization. Finally, Texas has a production ca- pacity of more than 13 Mt and is running at 79.3 percent utilization. Most cement engineers suggest that cement kilns can run as high as 90 percent utilization rates for a sustained period of time. Given this, slack capacity still exists given the magnitude of the volume im- pact associated with the recession and tepid economic growth since the recovery. Total incremental cement con- sumption related to a wall may not be as large as many suspect. If all barriers already in place along the border (fencing and vehicle barriers) are subtracted, then the mileage of wall construction im- plied by the Trump proposal shrinks from roughly 2,000 miles to less than 220 miles. The definition of what constitutes a wall, therefore, has large implications regarding the incremental additional amount of cement consumed due to the wall's construction. Once these assess- ments are determined, additional assumptions must be made re- garding the material specification, height and width of the wall. PCA's assumptions and cement consump- tion estimates by border state are summarized below. It is likely that these total consumption volumes will be spread over several years of construction – further minimizing the possibility of supply strain. Source: Portland Cement Association

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