Lafarge North America Inc. hosted a groundbreaking event for the multi-million dollar modernization project at its Ravena, N.Y., cement plant on April 11. The new state-of-the-art facility will be equipped with advanced efficiency features that will enable the plant to compete successfully and meet the economy’s need for high quality cement. The plant is currently supplying several high profile projects including the new Freedom Tower and the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City and the Global Foundries plant located in Malta, N.Y.
“Lafarge is committed to investing hundreds of millions of dollars to modernize the Ravena cement facility because we are committed to competing in the U.S. market in an environmentally responsible way,” said John Stull, Lafarge U.S. president and CEO. “New York is an advantageous location for Lafarge. This is an opportunity to better serve customers in this market and allow us to continue contributing to building better cities and communities across the region.”
The modernization project is scheduled for completion by June 30, 2016, after an extension was granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation late last year. It will entail the construction of new plant facilities and the installation of a preheater/precalciner kiln, with a wet scrubber and selective non-catalytic reduction technologies for major emissions reductions and continuous air quality monitoring. When the new facilities are complete, the existing Ravena plant – which remains in compliance with all current environmental requirements – will be taken offline.
The groundbreaking event was attended by a number of national, state and local elected officials and regional leaders, who supported the project. “The Capital Region has long been home to innovative thinking that shifts and improves existing strategies on how business is done,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (D-N.Y). “I believe that, working with Lafarge and local leaders, we can put people back to work, invest in our region, and modernize existing manufacturing practices for a more sustainable outcome for both the product and the community. The facility being replaced has been a fixture in Ravena and Albany County for many years and I am happy to see Lafarge choose to continue their operations for another generation and welcome this new facility and its workforce to our area.”
Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk (D-N.Y.) added, “Lafarge’s Ravena cement plant is an economic driver for this region, providing more than 100 well-paid jobs, and supporting our local schools and governments. And by planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to modernize the plant and make it one of the most environmentally friendly cement plants in the world, Lafarge has also demonstrated that they are good neighbors who want to have a positive impact in their community.”
The modernization project is expected to retain the plant’s 110 local jobs, and create hundreds of temporary jobs during the construction phase.