The author is the President and CEO of Lafarge North America.
Over the next two years, Lafarge North America will make substantial investments to modernize our Ravena manufacturing facility.
Specifically, Lafarge will replace the current more than 50-year-old equipment with state-of-the-art technology that will make the Ravena plant one of the most advanced dry-kiln facilities in the nation.
This action will result in a significant reduction in the Ravena plant’s water usage and (strictly regulated) emissions. It will also improve fuel efficiency and flexibility while enhancing the plant’s competiveness, which will preserve and protect jobs.
Lafarge’s investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in our modernization project will create an additional 600 construction jobs.
Our decision to make this investment and commit to the broader decision to expand our activities in the state was made easier in large part due to the evolving and increasingly business-friendly climate of New York.
In our competitive industry - cement is an international commodity – Lafarge faces formidable operational challenges and risk. Therefore, a thorough and careful analysis of several different factors is required before making major, long-term investments into a specific geographic area.
Over the past decade, Lafarge has built a constructive and mutually respectful relationship with local, state and federal officials, resulting in significant economic development and job growth for New York. Today, The Lafarge Ravena plant generates nearly five hundred direct and indirect jobs and more than $27 million annually in total household earnings throughout the Capital Region.
We recognize that New York has become an advantageous location for our company to strengthen and enhance our market position in serving customers and projects across the Northeast.
New York has taken promising and important ground-level measures to rebuild its infrastructure and to encourage manufacturing across the upstate region. We view these efforts as useful in creating potential opportunities for Lafarge, indeed for every manufacturer of building materials across our state and for the contractors Lafarge supplies for projects large and small.