The TXI Riverside cement plant, located in the desert town of Oro Grande, California, is a terrific example of state-of-the-art cement plant design. It is also significant for several reasons. The plant is located upon the state-protected historical site of two old lime kilns dating back to the 1800s. It sits along historic Route 66, and very near to interstate highway 15 about 75 miles east of Los Angeles on the way to Las Vegas.
In 2005, the cement production facility that existed previously on the TXI site was expanded to incorporate a new processing system. AMEC of Atlanta and Zachry Construction of San Antonio were awarded the job of designing and constructing the facility. Significant in the California cement industry, this incredible plant is capable of manufacturing 6600tpd of clinker. The materials and equipment used in the design of the facility were delivered by companies located around the globe. The design is a preheater/precalciner manufactured and supplied by Polysius.
Natural elements - wind, heat and cold - presented challenges to the construction efforts. The location of the TXI Riverside cement plant was specifically chosen. The weather in Oro Grande is very dry, a great location for storing dry bulk materials and keeping them dry throughout the year. But the Santa Anna winds also blow strongly through this area, while winters are extremely cold.
“Everything we handled was large and heavy, and required a crane to set. The constant winds required us to use tremendous care and patience,” said Ben Sims of Zachry Construction. The climate in the high desert is of one extreme or another - hot in summer and cold in winter - which also presented challenges.