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Lafarge modernization plan moves forward

Final approval granted for extension to build new kiln, strengthened pollution standards

— Lafarge also agreed to provide funding of $1.5 million toward projects to further reduce emissions at the plant and in surrounding communities.

The modernization project maintains more than 100 local jobs, Campbell said, along with Lafarge estimating an additional 800 temporary jobs added during construction.

“The benefit to the local economy is very significant,” Campbell said. “They can look at the plant and know what we are building is a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. We plan to be there for 50 years.”

Several high-profile projects in the state have drawn from the cement produced in Ravena, such as the new Freedom Tower and the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City and GlobalFoundries’ new plant in Malta.

“Even under challenging market conditions, the Lafarge Ravena plant is supplying more than one million tons of locally produced cement for construction projects of all sizes and in many locations throughout the region,” added Kralik.

Lafarge had approached state and federal officials about receiving an extension to its 2010 consent decree requiring the company to limit pollutant emissions at its Ravena plant.

The original deadline to meet imposed limits was Jan. 1, 2015, but the company claimed the cement industry was recovering slower than expected from the country’s recent recession. This led Lafarge to delay funding construction of its new kiln.

“Without this agreement we would not have the time or the economy to support such a large investment,” Campbell said.

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