Lafarge's Gypsum division is pursuing its expansion program in North America. Lafarge Corporation, the Group's North American subsidiary, has announced plans to build a new production facility in the United States dedicated to the manufacture of gypsum wallboard. The investment package will amount to USD 90 million (almost 80 million euros).
Located in Silver Grove, Kentucky, near Cincinnati, Ohio, the plant is scheduled to come on line in the first half of 2000. With annual capacity of more than 80 million square meters, it will constitute the largest gypsum wallboard production line in North America.
The facility, which will employ state-of-the-art technology, will entirely meet its principal needs for raw materials with recycled materials, primarily in the form of flue-gas desulfurization gypsum, a product of the neutralization of acid exhaust gases from coal-fired power plants.
Conveniently situated for road and rail access, the plant will supply a geographical area taking in 14 states and representing annual demand of nearly 1 billion square meters, higher than the entire European market. Growth prospects offered by the Mid-West are all the greater for the fact that gypsum wallboard production capacity is insufficient to satisfy current demand on several of these markets.
The plant will complement the industrial facilities already operated by the Lafarge Group's Gypsum division in North America, with sites in Canada (Corner Brook) and the United States (Buchanan, New York and Wilmington, Delaware). It will bring annual production capacity on the continent to 150 million square meters.
The announcement follows recent developments made by the Gypsum division in Turkey, China, Canada and South Korea. This expansion outside Europe will enable the division to maximize the benefit to be derived from the growth potential of gypsum wallboard.
The Lafarge Group, world leader in construction materials, employs 65,000 people in 65 countries, and records annual sales of almost FRF 65 billion (10 billion euros).
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