Lehigh Cement Co.’s Mitchell, Ind., plant received the necessary permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to begin construction of a new cement kiln system. The company will invest more than $600 million in an expansion project at the Mitchell facility, making it the largest undertaken by Lehigh Hanson in North America.
The permit approval comes following a 30-day public comment period during which the majority of comments received by IDEM consisted of letters of support from the community. This project will create new full-time jobs at the plant, and the number of indirect jobs being created is expected to make a significant economic impact on the city and county.
“The issuance of the air construction permit is an integral step in the process to build the new plant in Mitchell,” said Tom Chizmadia, senior vice president of government affairs and communications. “As a result, over the next several months there will be various activities taking place to prepare the site for full scale construction scheduled to begin next year.”
For the new plant, Lehigh will install one kiln that will replace its current three kilns. The new kiln system will increase production capacity while also significantly reducing energy usage and emissions per ton of cement produced. Groundbreaking for the new plant is expected later this year with completion and startup slated for the third quarter of 2022.
“For generations, Lehigh has played an important role in the Mitchell community and Lawrence County, and our dedicated and hard-working employees will continue this rich tradition as we expand and modernize our operations,” said Jerry Miller, Mitchell plant manager. “We’ll continue to contribute to the positive legacy of Lehigh in Mitchell for years to come.”
When the project was announced in July 2018, Lehigh established a community advisory panel consisting of local business people, educators, elected officials and other residents representing a cross-section of the community. The panel meets to discuss project progress, community input and questions and will continue to meet regularly throughout the construction process.