The National Cement Co. of Alabama, whose parent company is France-based VicatSA, plans to invest more than $250 million to construct a new kiln at its production plant, 50 miles east of Birmingham, in Ragland, Alabama.
National Cement, which has been producing cement in Ragland since 1910, said construction on the project should begin in the first quarter of 2020, with start-up scheduled for 2022. Current operations at the facility will continue during the construction process.
“We are excited about our kiln project in Ragland. It will ensure that our employees and our Ragland facility can continue to be competitive for years to come by upgrading our plant with the latest technology and equipment,” said Spencer Weitman, National Cement of Alabama’s president. “We have enjoyed a long, successful partnership with the Ragland community, and look forward to that continuing for many years to come.”
National Cement, whose parent company is France-based VicatSA, also operates Kirkland Concrete, which has nearly two dozen ready-mix concrete plants across Alabama, and Walker Concrete, a major supplier in metro Atlanta.
The Town of Ragland and the St. Clair County Commission both approved National Cement’s application and incentives for the expansion project.
“My administration is committed to helping rural communities across Alabama thrive by helping great companies such as National Cement invest and grow in our state,” Governor Kay Ivey said.“I welcome the company’s decision to make a significant new investment in its St. Clair County operations because it will serve to deepen its roots in Ragland for many years to come.”
The Ragland plant ships manufactured cement products to a diverse customer base across Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida.
“Production at National Cement’s site in Ragland began more than a century ago, and this massive re-investment in the facility will increase its vitality well into the future,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “It will also allow us to strengthen our longstanding partnership with a high-caliber company that has a major presence in our state.”
Fred McCallum, interim president and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance, said “this was a competitive project and is a great example of retaining and supporting an existing company’s growth plans for the Birmingham region. This win will ensure National Cement’s and the community of Ragland’s sustained growth for years to come. We appreciate the company’s continued investment in our region, and we are proud to be a part of the team that supported this expansion project.”