The multimillion dollar renovation project of a 50-year-old cement plant in Ravena, N.Y., is on track to be mechanically completed by next summer, reported the Albany Times Union. The project includes a more efficient 200-ft. rotary kiln that will replace two 600-ft. kilns, as well as the construction of a 400-tph raw mill and pre-heater tower.

Senior Project Manager John Light said the new plant – which will cost more than $300 million – will meet the pollution reduction requirements that were part of a 2010 agreement between Lafarge and state and federal officials.

The agreement initially called for the new kiln to be ready by June 2015, but that was pushed back a year, in return for the company agreeing to operate one of its current kilns less frequently. Under the agreement, Lafarge also agreed to pay a penalty of more than $5 million to federal and state agencies while spending $170 million to upgrade facilities at 13 plants across the country.

As part of the construction extension, Lafarge must report construction progress to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Reports filed in June and November show the project remains on schedule, according to the regional EPA office in New York City.

Light said the schedule calls for the plant to be mechanically ready to operate by the end of June 2016, but that routing and testing of electrical power to make it operational would still have to be done. "So far, so good," he said. "And our schedule depends on the timely delivery of equipment from our suppliers.”

The new kiln will use a dry process to convert limestone from a nearby quarry into cement, unlike the current kilns, which mix large amounts of water from the Hudson River into the process. For most of its water needs, the plant will use pumped groundwater from the quarry, Light said.

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