A COOKSTOWN based cement company have invested £5 million pounds in new equipment and a new apprenticeship scheme.
Lafarge Cement welcomed Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster to its Cookstown Works last Friday (7th December) to see a range of significant investment projects worth in excess of £5 million.
Lafarge Cement, is the world’s largest cement manufacturer and is the only UK producer with nationwide coverage supplying around 50% per cent of the market and moving more than a million tonnes of cement by rail each year.
During her tour of the site the Minister met employees who were able to present the projects. One of the presentations was the refurbishment of the kiln electrostatic precipitator which improves overall emissions performance.
This overhaul will ensure compliance with the future requirements of the Industrial Emissions Directive. The Minister also heard about the Cement Kiln Dust (CKD) project which has achieved a reduction of 8,000 tonnes of CKD waste to landfill to almost zero.
Further plans for Cookstown Works were also showcased, including planned upgrade of the Works’ Central Control Room (CCR) which is the heart of the operation of the Works. The Minister was also able to learn more about the Works’ apprenticeship scheme, which saw two new apprentices join the Works team in 2012 with a further two apprentice opportunities planned for 2013.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “I welcome Lafarge Cement’s multi-million pound investment in its Cookstown plant, as it demonstrates the company’s confidence in its local workforce, and in Northern Ireland as a whole.
“This is a difficult time for the construction industry and it is therefore particularly pleasing to see that the company is investing in its future by upgrading its current facilities and creating opportunities for apprenticeships.”
Speaking on behalf of Lafarge, Rajeev Ramankutty, Industrial Director said: “We were delighted that the Minister was able to visit Cookstown Works today as it is an integral part of our cement network. The Works is already a global leader for safety performance for Lafarge and the latest investment projects and apprenticeships will further improve our manufacturing processes and environmental management, as well as bringing additional skills and expertise to the team.”