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Ash Grove Cement Co. adds new Kansas plant

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Ash Grove Cement Co., which operates a lime plant in Springfield, announced it will add a 1.5 million-ton-per-year cement kiln to its Chanute, Kan., operation.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based company's board made the decision conditional pending a satisfactory resolution of outstanding electric power negotiations.

Ash Grove now operates a 500,000 ton-per-year cement plant in Chanute that purchases electricity from a municipally owned utility. The company said its increased electricity needs may be satisfied through a number of options.

"We are confident that, working with our energy consultants and with the city, we can reach a satisfactory solution," said George Wells, president of Ash Grove Cement. City commissioners in August approved a property tax abatement for the new plant.

A company release said the new plant is designed to expand annual production capacity in its central region to 3.5 million tons from 2.5 million tons. Ash Grove also operates cement plants in Foreman, Ark., and Louisville, Neb., in its central region.

The company overall has annual cement production capacity of 5.6 million tons and is the fourth-largest cement producer in the country.

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