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Holcim breaks ground on nation's largest cement plant

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Leaders and company officials break ground on the new cement plant Friday (Holcim photo)

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis – The ground-breaking for the largest cement plant in the U.S. was held Friday in Ste. Genevieve County.

The Holcim plant will be constructed on the banks of the Mississippi River about 40 miles south of St. Louis.

The project, first proposed in 1999, was held up in part because of environmental concerns. Senator Jim Talent said the wait was worth it.

"We're talking about 250 full-time jobs, a $10 million payroll, $23 million for the school district, and a show-case, a world show-case for how you can produce cement," Talent said.

Holcim reached an agreement with four environmental groups in 2004 to spend $3 million for local air quality monitoring, land preservation and energy efficiency.

The plant will supply about 4 million metric tons of cement annually and is expected to begin operating in three years.

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