History of Keystone Cement Company
Keystone Cement Company, located in Bath, Pennsylvania, has been an important part of the Lehigh Valleycement industry since the 1920’s. In 1926, investors contracted to build a new wet process cement manufacturing plant on about 400 acres in the limestone rich Lehigh Valley. Keystone Cement was started with four small rotary kilns, four raw mills, and four finishing mills in 1928. In the years that followed, additional land was purchased, increasing the total acreage to approximately 1,000 acres.
The plant was first upgraded in 1956 with the addition of a fifth, and much larger, wet process kiln, increasing clinker capacity by 25%. In 1995, a major upgrade occurred in the finish grinding department with the installation of a 4400-HP mill to take the place of the five smaller mills. In 1966, a large 15 by 550-foot wet process kiln was commissioned to take the place of the original four small kilns. The small kilns were subsequently decommissioned and removed in 1968.
Over the next 10 years, changes were made in both the raw and finish grinding departments to keep up with increasing clinker capacity and sales. In 1976, Keystone Cement became a pioneer in resource recovery burning high-btu liquid wastes as a partial substitute for coal. Keystone continues this program today with state-of-the-art testing, loading and storage facilities that follow the strict guidelines set forth by the state and federal environmental agencies.
In 1998, the second kiln was substantially overhauled, and a new crossbar clinker cooler was installed. This installation had a positive impact on the kilns’ efficiency, helping to keep the plant competitive in an increasingly competitive northeast market.
For most of its history, Keystone Cement, like its sister company Giant Cement Company, was an independent company. In 1984, Keystone Cement and Giant became part of Giant Group Limited.
Giant Group Limited remained the parent company until 1994, when Keystone and Giant became part of a publicly-traded company, Giant Cement Holding Inc. (GCHI).
On December 9, 1999, Cementos Portland Valderrivas of Madrid, Spain purchased GCHI and its subsidiaries. Cementos Portland Valderrivas is controlled by Fomento de Construcciones y Contratos (FCC), an international construction company with executive offices in Spain.