Photo courtesy Lafarge

A new state-of-the-art cement plant is in the works for Lafarge.  

The company hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Friday at the site of the multi-million dollar plant in Ravena.  CEO John Stull says the company is committed to southern Albany County, and to preserving the environment.

Stull says the project will allow the company to maintain existing jobs, and create hundreds of construction jobs in the process. 

The modernization project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2016.

Here’s the statement from Lafarge:                                                              

Lafarge U.S. Hosts Groundbreaking Event for
Ravena Plant Modernization Project

Lafarge North America Inc. today hosted a groundbreaking event for the multi-million dollar modernization project at the Ravena, NY Cement Plant.  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.

“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.” 

Lafarge Ravena’s product is in demand supplying several high profile projects in the Northeast including the new Freedom Tower and the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City and the Global Foundries plant located in Malta, New York.

After an extensive review process, the plant modernization project received widespread support from the public, advocates, and community and business leaders. In late 2013, Lafarge was granted an extension of the project timeline by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The event was attended by a number of national, state and local elected officials and regional leaders, who supported the project and helped at the groundbreaking ceremony.

“The Capital Region has long been home to innovative thinking that shifts and improves existing strategies on how business is done,” said Paul Tonko, United States Congressman. “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.”

“Today’s announcement and the modernization plans announced by Lafarge show us that businesses can work with the community to invest in our workforce, create jobs and protect the environment,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “This process can serve as a template as we grow our economy and foster strong relationships with the business community.”

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk said, "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."

“Today’s groundbreaking builds on Lafarge’s commitment to good paying jobs and property taxes in support of our school and local governments,” said Assemblyman Pete Lopez, who represents the Town of Coeymans and a large portion of the Hudson Valley.  “The modernization will offer some 163 million dollars of additional economic benefits in labor, equipment and materials, while helping Lafarge to be an even better neighbor by dramatically reducing dust and other plant emissions.”  Assemblyman Lopez concluded, “I believe everything flows from maintaining a strong economy.  If our businesses and farms succeed, we succeed and our society prospers.  This is good news for the region.”

The modernization project is scheduled for completion by June 30, 2016. 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 modernization project is expected to retain the plant’s 110 local jobs, and create hundreds of temporary jobs during the construction phase.