Heidelberg Materials Inaugurates Innovative Plant

On June 13, Heidelberg Materials celebrated the opening of its new cutting-edge facility in Mitchell, Ind. – the second largest cement plant in North America. Don Marsh, editor of sister publication Concrete Products, was in attendance for opening day activities.

The new Mitchell plant is equipped with advanced technology and design features that enable it to achieve ambitious production and capacity targets, producing up to 2.4 million tons of cement annually. An automated lab, a smart motor control center to collect and communicate data, and a high-speed automated rotary-type packing machine capable of filling 3,600 full-sized (94-lb.) bags per hour will dramatically increase the plant’s efficiency. 

“Our Mitchell project instills pride in our rich history and provides an exciting look into the future of cement production at the same time,” said Heidelberg Materials CEO Dr. Dominik von Achten. “The plant will substantially contribute to Heidelberg Materials’ offering of low-carbon cement and concrete – it is the springboard to becoming the first fully decarbonized cement plant in the U.S. It represents our commitment to further strengthening our North American footprint and increasing the sustainability of our products.”

The new facility will primarily produce EcoCem PLC, the company’s lower-carbon portland-limestone cement. Additionally, Heidelberg Materials is leveraging funding from the U.S. Department of Energy at the site to study the feasibility of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).  

“The plant will reduce clinker production carbon dioxide emissions per ton of product by almost 30% mainly through operating on natural gas,” said Chris Ward, president and CEO of Heidelberg Materials North America. “Our investment in the Mitchell facility helps us lower our carbon footprint while serving the growing demand for more sustainable products in this key market.”  

Heidelberg Materials invested more than $600 million into the modernized plant, which replaced a nearly half century old facility. Despite delays from the COVID-19 pandemic, Heidelberg officials said the project was completed on schedule. 

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