When CertainTeed shut its doors in April 2020, it was a blow to its 50 hardworking employees and the Cody community as a whole.
But while the gypsum plant and mine have ceased the processes needed to make wallboard, it is good to see the company has found new use for the gypsum in the area related to agriculture.
In January 2020, CertainTeed Gypsum stopped production of drywall products at the plant. The local mining operation was temporarily closed as the decommissioning process began on the site in order to evaluate options for the plant.
The option the company went with was to repurpose the property to develop the agricultural gypsum (agri-gypsum) product line, taking advantage of the local gypsum resource and rail transportation capabilities.
High-purity gypsum, like that found in Cody, is a calcium and sulfur additive for the soil. Plants that have a higher protein content like alfalfa, wheat, canola and similar crops need sulfur for increased yield.
The company will aim to supply agri-gypsum to agriculture distributors Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas.
Currently, there are five CertainTeed employees at the plant and about five contractors working at the Cody mine and providing rock transportation from the mine to the plant.
Roberto Margutti, U.S. Mining Operations Manager at CertainTeed Gypsum, said the company expects to grow the team from 30% to 50% in the next 3 to 5 years.
While the shutdown of the original plant, which had been running for almost 59 years, was a disappointment, it’s good to see the company following a new path that will bring back some of the jobs lost.
We hope the plant will continue to grow and add more jobs to the community.