Dragon Cement to idle its Thomaston plant
THOMASTON — In a company news release issued Sept. 6, Dragon Products Company, Inc. ("Dragon"), a subsidiary of Giant Cement Holding, Inc. ("GCHI"), said it would gradually idle production operations beginning December at its Thomaston plant.
Roberto Polit, vice president of operations, said Sept. 7 that Dragon employees 72, including those in sales. The closing of the plant will take place over the next few years.
Mining for limestone at the quarries will be discontinued and Dragon is now working on its environmental closure plans, said Polit.
“We have regulations with state and federal to meet in exiting the facility,” he said. “We will be addressing them in the future.”
Giant Cement has owned the Dragon facility since 2006. The company owns 1,200 acres there, some in wetlands.
Giant Cement reasons that persistent escalation of operating and logistical costs have exerted a negative impact on theThomaston plant's viability.
"Despite our best efforts to adapt and navigate through these challenging circumstances, we have determined that these actions are necessary for the long-term sustainability of our business," said Roberto Polit, vice president of operations, in the release.
The phased employee separations are scheduled to commence in December 2023 , with the process anticipated to conclude by the beginning of 2025.
Dragon Products, which is a subsidiary of the Mexican-owned company, Elementia, manufactures cement, using limestone mined from local quarries. Elementia, based in Mexico City, acquired Dragon in 2016 through its acquisition of a 55 percent stake, and full control of Giant Cement Holdings, Inc., from the Spanish company, Cementos Portland Valderrivas.
Dragon has been part of the Midcoast landscape for much longer, since the early 1900s, when manufacturers first started mining limestone quarries and making Portland cement at the Thomaston facility. Over the last century, the plant has grown its footprint to 1,100 acres.
Dragon currently actively mines its 130-open acre quarry.
The plant itself sits on approximately 250 acres, with another 700 acres remaining undeveloped.