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Can the Gypsum Materials Industry Launch a Sustainability Rebound After 2020 Covid Declines?


Gypsum Wallboard


Industries in sectors ranging from minerals processing and rare earth metals, to concrete and aggregates, to gypsum materials are all initiating or following through in 2021 on strategic moves to cash in on sustainability trends. These tactics are being deployed to overcome the significant 2020 declines triggered by rampant covid 19 shutdowns. 

We’ve reported earlier in the year on the sagging civil construction numbers, and the gypsum materials industry isn’t immune from the declines in both civil and residential building starts. 

Green-sensitive companies are prioritizing more sustainable construction materials and some are even taking it a step further by embracing sustainable energy sources for their own manufacturing power supplies as well as making the switch to “greener” raw materials and increased recycling of byproducts. 

While some self-congratulatory corporations such as the oligarch billionaire Jeff Bezos’ dominated Amazon may be contributing more to the mined resources crisis than to the solution, leading gypsum companies are working on genuinely innovative solutions. At Resource Erectors we’ve been known to call out the green hype when we see it, but we’re always happy to give credit where credit is due, especially in the specialized industry sectors we work within.

Would you believe an overseas business deal where gypsum, fly ash, and bottom ash is as good as cash? How about a gypsum wallboard plant converting to agricultural gypsum? 

Saint Gobain Group Counting on Strategic Sustainability Deals After 2020 Declines

The Saint-Gobain Group claims for itself a worldwide leadership role in sustainable construction and innovative materials that can help achieve ambitious carbon-neutral benchmarks in sectors such as aerospace and energy.  Companies under the St. Gobain Group umbrella also produce an impressive portfolio of popular high-performance construction brands including Certain Teed, CarboTherm, and many more leading material brands for the global habitat and construction markets. 

But even that broad global diversity couldn’t insulate the group from the universal economic jabs of covid 19 in 2020. According to a March 2021 report at Global Gypsum, Saint Gobain’s sales fell by 10% to Euro38.1bn in 2020 and recent data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) showed that national natural gypsum production was 20.5Mt in the US in 2020, down by 5% year-on-year from 21.5Mt in 2019. Other companies in the gypsum materials European sector felt similar impact, such as Belgium’s Etex where consolidated net sales fell by 11% year-on-year from Euro2.94bn in 2020. 

But one of Saint Gobain North America’s leading brand name companies knows that gypsum is a valuable resource for more than sheetrock for construction. 

agricultural gypsum mining

Certain Teed Moves to Agri-Gypsum in Wyoming

Western Mining and Minerals is the Certain Teed subsidiary assuming control over their decommissioned wallboard plant in Cody, Wyoming. The Las Vegas-based company specializes in gypsum mining for milled bulk and bagged products supporting agriculture and cement production. 

Certain Teed is wisely deploying an effective human resources strategy, using the time-tested boomerang hiring method to fill essential vacancies. While the plant switches over, it will be relying on the experience of its seasoned professionals and workforce to optimize production throughout the transition. 

Employees of the former wallboard plant will be part of the new agri-gypsum team in Cody, Wyoming, according to US mining operations manager Roberto Margutti. The company has set the bar high for projected team growth generated by the move to agricultural gypsum, and that’s great news for the local Cody workforce. 

 “With the agri-gypsum business and other business opportunities generated with the mine operation, we expect to grow the team from 30% to 50% in the next three to five years. We are pleased to be building our new operation with support from many of the same employees who have worked in our drywall plant previously, who will now help operate and manage the agricultural gypsum business.”- Robert Margutti in Global Gypsum News Report

Is Fly Ash Better Than Cash in Indonesia?

Fly ash is making industry news once again here at Resource Erectors. We reported on Duke Energy’s move to monetize the infamous byproduct of coal-burning power plants last October 2020. Now the value of bottom ash, fly ash, and limestone is the cornerstone of a unique business deal between two Indonesian companies. 

Cement producer Semen Baturaja has “entered into an understanding” in collaboration with power company Huadian Buket Asam Power in a unique 2-year bartering arrangement to exchange limestone for gypsum, fly ash, and bottom ash. The power company won’t need cash to acquire the limestone required for its flue gas desulfurization (FGD) process. Semen Baturaja’s cement production director Sumsal Saifudin told Global Gypsum;

 “This collaboration is a form of synergy between the two companies to improve competitiveness, which is much-needed in facing an increasingly competitive industrial environment, by taking advantage of opportunities for the creation of new revenue streams and cost transformation.”

Industrial Human Resource Synergy at Resource Erectors

At Resource Erectors we have the decades of specialized industrial human resource experience your company needs to operate effectively and profitably in today’s increasingly competitive industrial environments. We specialize in recruiting hard-to-find professional talent in the gypsum and energy sectors as well as mining, metals, construction materials, mineral processing, concrete, aggregates, civil construction, and more. 

Over 85% of Resource Erectors placed candidates are still filling essential positions and contributing to the success of their companies 5-years later. That helps your organization avoid the high costs of vacancies in hard-to-fill positions while also avoiding the costs of a bad hire. We maintain ongoing connections with industry leaders in the US, Canada, and Australia to provide them with the top qualified professional talent they seek for positions ranging from the C-suite to site management and everything in between. 

Whether you’re building your organization’s next dream team or you are a highly qualified professional in engineering, mining, civil construction, materials management and more, don’t hesitate to contact Resource Erectors so we can all get to work today.

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