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Date 03/15/2012

Lafarge Announces Shutdown of the Joppa Illinois Cement Plant’s Kiln 2

Joppa, Illinois

LAfarge North America Inc.


Lafarge North America today announced the mothballing of the Joppa Illinois Cement Plant's Kiln 2 due to the continued challenging economic environment in the US.  The mothballing of the kiln line will take place immediately.


Lafarge will continue to operate the plant and its associated Cave-In-Rock Quarry and manufacture specialty well cement on its Kiln 1.  Lafarge will continue to provide cement to its Type I/II customers from other manufacturing sources without interruption.


The current economic environment has had a major impact on the construction industry and consequently on cement manufacturing. Portland Cement sales have fallen approximately 44% since 2006, according to the PCA (Portland Cement Association). 


The Joppa Cement plant was purchased by Lafarge in 1991.  The plant employed 105 people and operated two long dry kilns, Kiln 1 and Kiln 2, with a total plant output of 1.25 million tons per year.  In 2006, Lafarge announced the construction of a new 7,200 ton per day preheater-precalciner kiln.  Construction of the new kiln and related equipment continues and it is anticipated to be ready for operation when cement demand returns. 


With roughly half the facility shutdown, staffing will be reduced to meet operating demands.  Consequently one-third of the positions at the Joppa Plant will be eliminated, in addition to some employees at Lafarge's neighboring Cave-In-Rock quarry.


John Stull, the Lafarge CEO for US aggregate, concrete and cement operations said: "The Joppa and Cave-In-Rock employees have demonstrated tremendous professionalism and commitment over the years and many have worked at the plant for decades. We recognize the impact this decision will have on their lives and their families and we will help them during this difficult transition. Lafarge looks forward to many years of continued operation in Southern Illinois, both with Kiln 1 and its specialty products, and when the new kiln comes on line."


Joëlle Lipski-Rockwood,
Communications Director

United States



Lafarge North America Inc ("Lafarge"), a subsidiary Lafarge S.A., has aggregate, concrete and cement operations throughout the United States.   Today, Lafarge has approximately 5,000 employees and 400 industrial and distribution sites in 41 states. 


Lafarge is active in environment, education and sustainable construction partnerships including the Wildlife Habitat Council, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, Habitat for Humanity, the American Institute of Architectural Students and the National Building Museum.

Located in 64 countries with 68,000 employees, Lafarge S.A. is a world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in its Cement, Aggregates & Concrete businesses. In 2011, Lafarge S.A. posted sales of 15.3 billion euros.



For the second year in a row, Lafarge S.A. ranked amongst the top-10 of 500 companies evaluated by the "Carbon Disclosure Project" in recognition of their strategy and actions against global warming. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge S.A. places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.


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