Rock Products

MAR 2013

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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CEMEX DOWNSIZING WEST PALM BEACH LOCATIONS Holcim���s Mexican arm, Cemex has announced it will lay off 79 people in West Palm Beach this year, starting March 31, even though the demand for cement is on the rise. The downsizing affects workers in accounting, information technology and other support roles, Cemex Spokeswoman Sara Engdahl said. The layoffs will include employees at Cemex���s locations on Belvedere Road and Australian Avenue. Cemex announced last year that it would save $1 billion over 10 years by outsourcing administrative jobs to IBM. The outsourcing deal with IBM was an effort to run a leaner company, Cemex said at the time. Meanwhile, the Portland Cement Association recently predicted an 8.1 percent spike in cement use this year as the economy improves and homebuilding bounces back. Cement Consumption in Mexico Up 3.5 Percent Holcim���s Mexican arm, Holcim Apasco, esti��� mates that cement demand in the country grew 3.5 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. The cement major said the increase in consumption, which reached 35 Mt last year, was driven by stronger growth in the infrastructure segment, moderate expan��� sion in self���build housing as well as the con��� struction of industrial buildings, offices and shopping centers. Gustavo Gastelum, the company���s director of external relations and communications, said that recent years had seen a sus��� Hosting a World of Concrete opening day luncheon, PCA President and CEO Gregory Scott and 2013 Chairman Cary Cohrs under��� scored the group���s commitment to industry��� wide promotion and greater advocacy efforts in the nation���s capital. The February 5 event marked the introduction of newly ap��� pointed PCA leadership to representatives from major national groups in concrete pro��� duction and construction, and one of the first industry gatherings following the PCA head��� quarters shift from north suburban Chicago to Washington, D.C. 1) Market development, encompassing the association���s traditional role of promotion and technical efforts supporting concrete and other cement user interests. 2) Business continuity, with focus on regulatory and other forces affecting ROCKproducts ��� MARCH 2013 He explained that according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) activity in the building sector re��� ported a growth of over three percent in the first nine months of 2012. ���There is a positive development in the infrastructure sector, but we are challenged to increase economic growth and create jobs, to boost infrastructure projects and housing for mil��� lions of Mexicans,��� he added. PCA Stresses Commitment to Promotion and Advocacy Scott expressed confidence in the associa��� tion���s ability to pursue a two���point mission on the hope that three years of ���regulatory demands are behind us,��� acknowledging a final cement plant emissions rule that the Environmental Protection Agency issued in late���2012. Entering the new year, Scott noted how PCA activities are driven by: 88 tained recovery of cement consumption after falling in the second half of 2008 and in 2009. member company operating methods and costs. Much of the market development compo��� nent will continue out of Skokie, Ill., where about 40 PCA staff will remain in a campus alongside lab facilities housing the associa��� tion���s for���profit CTL Group subsidiary, which saw record billings last year. By moving the headquarters, PCA and the in��� dustry are positioned for more visibility on the big stage of Washington, D.C., added Cohrs, who association board members elected last November to succeed Aris Pa��� padopoulos. Cohrs noted that the emphasis on sustain��� ability in construction challenges the indus��� try to move beyond promoting the benefits of concrete and think in terms of a ���posi��� tion,��� concluding, ���We need to translate fea��� ture and product information into things people can use.��� Among them, he cited concrete structures��� life���cycle cost and assessment attributes proved in ongoing research at the PCA��� and RMC Research and Education Foundation��� sponsored Concrete Sustainability Hub at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. www.rockproducts.com

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