For the last five years, the Wasatch Front has seen record growth in construction. This includes industrial, commercial and residential, and has pressed the limits of supply chains reeling from the effects of a global pandemic.
More recently, the demanding effects have been felt by customers in the availability of ready-mix concrete, where an ever-dwindling supply of fly ash — a key component in high-quality concrete — along with limited cement resources have left lead times measured in months.
“Demand has been at record highs,” says Terrence Savage, vice president of concrete for Geneva Rock. “Last year, we experienced a three-month cement allocation disruption. This year, that has increased to almost five months. Our customers have been excellent and very understanding of the situation, but we knew we had to find a long-term solution.”
While Geneva Rock is constantly looking to improve its procurement of vital materials, a major partnership with sister company Bridgesource has paved the way to a consistent supply of ready-mix concrete for builders throughout the Wasatch Front. As part of the Ogden Yard development being completed by Geneva Rock, Bridgesource built two 25,000-ton storage domes on land leased from Geneva Rock. One of the domes will be used to store fly ash, a byproduct of coal power plants. With fewer coal plants throughout the country, the supply of fly ash is dwindling. However, fly ash supplied through a long-term agreement with the Jim Bridger Power Plant outside of Rock Springs, Wyoming, will mean a more consistent supply and greater availability of fly ash to meet the growing demand.
“The domes provide critical storage to minimize the affects of market peaks and valleys of demand,” says Waylund Ludlow, P.E. and division manager for Bridgesource. “They also enable us to take advantage of higher production times of fly ash. This should go a long way in helping us maintain a consistent source of quality products to our clients throughout the year.”
Both Geneva Rock and Bridgesource are part of Clyde Companies, making the partnership a great fit, as both companies look to serve the needs of the Wasatch Front.
“Because we share the same parent company, our overall direction and mission — ‘Building a Better Community’ — is the same, which gives us the opportunity to work toward the same goal with aligned strategic intent.”
The partnership is beneficial from the Geneva Rock side, too.
“This whole project is a good example of sister companies looking at their strengths and marketing opportunities to create something in the market that we haven’t seen before,” Terrence says. “It is a strategic advantage that separates us from the competition for the long-term.”
Geneva Rock uses the second storage dome built by Bridgesource for cement procured from a new supplier to the region.
“We can now bring in an additional supply of cement into this market, which should make it less likely for us to run short,” Terrence says. “It’s going to benefit the entire industry and allow Geneva Rock greater flexibility. It’s impactful from the fly ash perspective and bolsters the cement supply side, which helps our ready-mix business.”
While material is already beginning to fill the storage domes, the units are expected to be fully operational in November 2022.
“With the cement, we took our first deliveries in September,” Terrence says. “It’s exciting, although we don’t expect to realize the full impact of the facilities until the first quarter of 2023.”