Rock Products

JUL 2018

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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28 • ROCK products • July 2018 Talk about the importance of the Young Leaders group to NSSGA. Why is this group critical to future growth? I recently had the opportunity to speak with this group at the 2018 Young Leaders Annual Meeting about their shared sense of purpose and optimism for our industry. The build- ing materials industry, specifically the aggregate industry, offers young leaders the potential to build an expe- rience-based career, enhanced by deep relationships and the ability to impact the communities in which they live. It's an incredibly vibrant group and the future of our industry rests in the hands of these young men and women who want to make an impact, early on in their careers. This year's AGG1 show was very suc- cessful. How can you build on it for next year in Indianapolis? We are going to host the largest AGG1 Academy & Expo ever in Indianapolis next year, which is incredible to say given that the largest AGG1 was just held in Houston. The show is grow- ing in popularity each year because it's all aggregates, all in one place. At the close of the AGG1 and World of Asphalt shows there were more than 8,300 people in attendance, with rep- resentative coming from all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces and 50 coun- tries worldwide. It promises to be another great event next year. We will also continue to focus on educational opportunities, as the AGG1 Academy courses continue to grow in popularity. What role can NSSGA play to help aggregates producers take a quan- tum leap in using new equipment, the latest technology and actionable data? Technology is transforming our indus- try. From GPS enabled drilling, to 3D imaging and drone mapping, opera- tions and process are becoming more efficient and highly automated. Our association provides a number of tools and resources that connect manu- facturers and service providers with producers. While the next AGG1 Acad- emy & Expo is not until February 2019, the AGG1 online webinar series is a great resource. It brings the best of the AGG1 Academy as well as brand-new sessions directly to you on demand. These one-hour webinars focus on a different aspect of the aggregates industry, from mine planning and pro- cessing to business management and regulatory compliance. If you could tell the nation's aggre- gate producers one thing, what would it be? We value your membership and we need you to be involved. NSSGA rep- resents the aggregates industry and the more the association grows, the more effective it becomes for the entire industry. The potential of our collec- tive efforts and our shared vision is far greater than the sum of our parts. What is the best piece of business advice you ever received? Write down where you want to go, both individually and as a business. The action of writing something down and committing your vision to paper forces you to slow down and be very thoughtful about laying out your career development and direction as a busi- ness. Similar to the continued efforts behind the Rocks Build America 2020 strategic plan, at CRH Americas Mate- rials we ask our folks to scope out their five year plan and also present it to their teams. With that comes con- viction. It comes down to the idea of continuous improvement, identifying how to get better tomorrow versus what was done today. Randy Lake Interview Trade Commission Cements CRH, Ash Grove $3.5B Merger The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cleared the path for CRH plc to acquire Overland Park, Kan.-based Ash Grove Cement for $3.5 billion after the company agreed to divest facilities in three states. To win antitrust approval for the deal, Dublin-based CRH will sell a Three Forks, Mont., cement plant and quarry to GCC Americas; three Omaha, Neb., area sand and gravel sites to Martin Marietta Materials; plus, three quarries and two asphalt plants near Kansas City to Summit Materials. The settlement also contains two three-year provisions: It grants GCC an option to use two Three Forks-fed CRH terminals in Alberta; and, holds that CRH, at GCC's option, will purchase cement from the mill for distribution in Canada. FTC proposed the settlement after a complaint, filed in U.S. District Court, alleged that the CRH-Ash Grove deal would have a harmful effect on competition for portland cement and aggregates in four states. The proposed acquisition would reduce the number of significant competitors in metro areas, regulators contended, increasing the likelihood that the merged company would unilaterally exercise market power – leading to agencies and consumers paying higher prices for materials. CRH and Ash Grove own Montana's two sole portland cement plants, for example, and their subsidiaries are leading producers for sand and gravel in the Omaha, Neb./Council Bluffs, Iowa, market, and crushed stone in the Johnson County, Kan., market. As suitors of the FTC-pinpointed cement, aggregate and asphalt operations, GCC, Martin Marietta and Summit Mate- rials possess what the agency calls "the experience and capability to replace one of the merging parties as a signif- icant competitor in the relevant markets." CRH and Ash Grove announced the merger in September 2017. The deal elevates CRH to a major North American cement producer, with upwards of 10 million tons' capacity between 10 plants in the United States and Canada. The pro- ducer established a significant foothold in portland cement production three years ago, acquiring the Holcim (Canada) business amid the Lafarge Group and Holcim Ltd. merger.

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