Eagle Materials Inc. announced that its American Gypsum wallboard plant in Bernalillo, N.M., will be closing. Seventy employees are affected by the shutdown and reduces American Gypsum’s annual wallboard production capacity by approximately 475 million square feet (15 percent of its capacity nationwide).

“We recognize this is a very difficult decision affecting the families of many highly skilled and dedicated employees,” said Dave Powers, American Gypsum president. “These employees’ efforts have consistently made the Bernalillo operation one of the lowest cost and most profitable wallboard plants in the nation. We also recognize the impact of this difficult announcement in the Bernalillo community of which we are a part.” 

The company said the falling of the U.S. homebuilding industry and limited prospects for a fast recovery in parts of California, Nevada and Arizona forced the shutdown of some of the manufacturers‘ wallboard capacity in the west. 

The company said the closure will enable American Gypsum to lower its system operating costs and improve its operating flexibility. The company does not anticipate the closure will have a material impact on its fiscal 2010 financial results.