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History of Dragon Cement Company

History of Dragon Cement Company

The first attempt at a cement plant was established in Thomaston, Maine in 1878, only operating for 2 years, shutting down after realizing could not compete with the European imports.

In the early 1900s, Alfred Black acquired the knowledge of the first cement plant attempt, and considerable land with significant limestone deposits, creating what became known as the New England Cement Company. For 20 years Mr. Black tried to promote the new cement business and attract investors, but was only successful in manufacturing lime.

In 1926, the New England Cement Company was sold to the Lawrence Cement Company of Pennsylvania. The first investment by Lawrence was a new $4-million-dollar grinding operation, the largest initial industrial investment in Maine to that date. At time of completion in 1928, it was one of the most modern cement plants in the world.

In 1951, the Lawrence Cement Company became Dragon Cement Company, a Maine corporation. The Dragon name had been trademarked since 1889, used as brand name by Lawrence Cement since the beginning of its operation. An upgrade to the plant in 1952 doubled the cement production capacity from 1 million barrels annually to 2 million barrels.

In 1956, the Thomaston plant / Dragon Cement Company was sold by the Lawrence Cement Company to American-Marietta Company of Chicago.

In 1961, American-Marietta merged with the Martin Company of Baltimore, to become Martin-Marietta, headquartered in New York.

In 1971, a major plant upgrade by Martin-Marietta, rebuilt into a single kiln wet process operation, with a 500,000-ton annual capacity.

In 1983, after the plant had been closed for a year, Martin-Marietta sold the plant to the Cianbro Corporation, as Maine construction company who resumed operation under the Dragon Cement name.

In 1984, Cianbro sold the plant to the Passamaquoddy Indian Tribe; this was a Maine investment as required under the 1981 Maine Land Settlement Agreement with the Tribe.

In 1988, the Passamaquoddy Tribe sold the plant to CDN-USA, a Spanish partnership whose major partners were Cementos Portland Valderrivas and Cementos Lemona. CDN-USA had earlier entered the New England cement market under the name Coastal Cement Corporation, with water terminals constructed in Boston, Massachusetts and Newington, New Hampshire.

In 1999, Cementos Portland Valderrivas became the sole owner of Dragon Cement Company and Coastal Cement Corporation.

In 2004, CPV spent $50-million plus to take the Dragon Cement plant from a wet process to dry process, improving product quality, and again, increasing capacity.

In 2007, Dragon Cement Company merged under the Giant Cement Holding, Inc. (GCHI) banner, with Giant Cement and Keystone Cement, with GCHI owned by CPV.