October 25, 2017
AggMan understands that the aggregates business is made up of local businesses throughout the nation. As such, we are focused on providing insights into these local markets, as well as national markets, in print and online.
We contacted Richard Szecsy, president of the Texas Aggregates & Concrete Association (TACA), who was kind enough to give us his take on what’s happening with the aggregates industry in the state of Texas.
1) How would you characterize the state of the aggregates market in Texas? How has Hurricane Harvey affected the market?
Szecsy: I think the demand for aggregates will continue to be stable and strong in Texas in 2018. The hurricane did impact the amount of production in multiple locations along the coast, and in Houston. The majority of the impact was to sand and gravel locations along waterways that endured flooding to equipment and inventory. The majority of those operations are back up and running at this point.
2) How is Texas addressing transportation funding?
Szecsy: Proposition 7 was passed with close to an 80 percent approval by the voters of the state. This is a funding mechanism design to take surplus funding and specifically direct it to transportation funding in the state.
3) What are the big opportunities for producers in Texas (DOT projects, commercial construction, etc.)?
Szecsy: Demand outlook for Texas will continue to be strong for the foreseeable future. We have 1 million people being added to the State population per year, and this is predicted to be the pattern for the next 17 years. Essentially, adding 20 million people to Texas in the next 20 years. The current population of the six major metro areas in Texas (Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi) is 20 million people. This means that, over the next 20 years, we have to build and accommodate the doubling of those size metro areas. This is why the outlook for demand, construction, and growth in Texas will continue to be strong.
4) What are the big obstacles for producers in Texas (legislation, neighborhood groups, etc.)?
Szecsy: We have two things to watch: the regulatory polices and the local opposition. Both of which have been increasing in their influence and impact.
5) What would you like your peers to know about aggregates production in Texas?
Szecsy: The demand is here, the resources are here. What we do see as a risk going forward is the human talent to continue to lead our industry. We have been fortunate to be blessed with great leadership, but we have to make sure that we are attracting and, most importantly, retaining the people that are critical to our future success. This is at all levels, from the skilled labor employees, to the mid and senior level management. In today’s competitive market, this truly is our biggest risk, and challenge.