PCA expects a 16.2 million ton increase through 2010

U.S. cement companies are currently engaged in an aggressive $3.6 billion expansion that will increase clinker capacity by 16.2 million metric tons by the year 2010. According to a report issued by the economic research department of the Portland Cement Association, this represents a 17.3 percent increase in capacity compared to 2005 levels.

Based on announced and permitted plans, the growth includes a mix of greenfield sites-including a 3.9 million ton plant in Missouri-modernizations, and expansions of existing facilities.

"The United States construction industry is ready to digest this large increase in capacity," said Ed Sullivan, chief economist for PCA. "Regions with a vibrant economic base dominate the location of plant expansions and the related escalation in private, commercial and public infrastructure construction will require additional materials."

For example, the Mountain region with the rapidly growing populations of Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado accounts for 26 percent of total capacity expansions. The Central region of the United States is expected to have the largest number of capacity expansions, 37 percent of planned increases. The Mississippi River allows plants in this area to access a broad market.