Lafarge North America Inc. announced that it will invest approximately $75 million to substantially upgrade and double the capacity of its gypsum drywall manufacturing facility in Buchanan, N.Y. The new production line will operate at manufacturing standards, producing 650 million square feet of gypsum wallboard annually to meet demands of the company's residential and commercial customers in the Northeast region. The renovation is expected to begin mid-2005 and scheduled for completion in mid-2006.

The Buchanan plant, built in the '60s and acquired by Lafarge in 1996, has never been significantly upgraded. The positive business environment and the investment incentives provided by the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency, the New York State Empire Development Corp. and the County of Westchester Public Utilities Service Agency were taken into consideration by the company in its decision to upgrade and expand the facility.

In the U.S., Lafarge operates four gypsum drywall plants located in Buchanan; Newark, N.J.; Silver Grove, Ky.; and Palatka, Fla. In Canada, Lafarge operates one drywall plant in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, and one joint compound plant in Chambly, Quebec.