Lafarge announces plans to construct a new gypsum wallboard plant in North America

10 September 1999

The Lafarge Group's gypsum division is continuing its international development. After announcing the construction of a gypsum wallboard plant in Kentucky earlier this year, Lafarge Corporation, the Group's North American subsidiary, has now announced plans to build another new plant, in the north of Florida, at a cost of FRF 525 million (nearly 80 million Euros).

Employing state-of-the-art technology, the new site will be operational in 2001, and will have annual production capacity of 80 million m2.

The plant will satisfy its raw material needs primarily with the use of synthetic gypsum produced by two neighboring electrical power plants. This process of recycling gypsum has two advantages on an environmental level: it allows gypsum resources to be conserved, and eliminates landfill problems for production waste.

Benefiting from very favorable conditions with regard to transport and logistics, the facility will primarily supply the southeast of the United States, where growth in gypsum wallboard consumption has constantly exceeded the national average over the past 20 years, and where regional demand is significantly greater than current production capacity.

The Florida plant will be the fifth gypsum wallboard production unit constructed or acquired by Lafarge in the United States and Canada since 1996, the year it created its Gypsum division. This announcement comes after several recent developments in the Division, in Turkey, China, Canada, South Korea and Australia.

World leader in construction materials, the Lafarge Group is organized in five divisions: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing, Gypsum and Specialty Products. It employs 65,000 people in 65 countries and generates annual sales of almost nearly Euros10 billion (almost FRF 64.3 billion).

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