Launched in 1968, the plant is now responsible for producing a substantial volume of cement each year, employing almost 100 staff both in Cookstown and at the business’ cement terminal in Belfast. As well as representing a major employer locally, the Cookstown business is an established member of the community, regularly raising money for local charities including support group, the Niamh Louise Foundation, and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The Lafarge Cement business was acquired by Aggregate Industries in 2015 as part of the global merger between Lafarge and Holcim. The transition meant that, for the first time, Aggregate Industries’ portfolio of operations included the capacity for cement production and supply.
Since the acquisition, the Cookstown business has gone from strength-to-strength, investing heavily in technology, including Geocycle co-processing capabilities, to help minimise and repurpose waste in a sustainable way. Geocycle uses waste-derived materials as a substitute for fossil fuels and primary raw material in industrial processes. Using the cement kilns, at temperatures of 1400-2000 degrees centigrade, the waste is processed leaving no residue while recovering useful energy and material. This approach benefits the entire environment as it lessens reliance on fossil fuels, preserves natural resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and waste sent to landfill.
Russell Larmour, Plant Manager at Lafarge Cement, part of the Aggregate Industries business, comments: “Fifty years is a significant milestone and follows the successful 60th anniversary celebrations that took place at our sister cement plant in Cauldon last year. To mark the occasion, we are hosting a small open day where we are inviting our veterans and some of our family members in for a tour of the plant and to view our exhibition.
“The success at Cookstown is testament to the many generations of people here in County Tyrone who have helped shape the business today. As we now look to the future, and many more years of production, we are committed to maintaining our position as a leading, sustainable business partner at the heart of the UK’s construction industry.”