U.S.-based competitive energy company Mirant Corp. has signed a long-term agreement with Lafarge to supply synthetic gypsum to the manufacturer’s gypsum drywall manufacturing facility in Buchanan, N.Y., beginning in 2010.

Lafarge will invest in an upgrade of its Buchanan plant that will enable it to manufacture a full line of gypsum products using environmentally-friendly material supplied by Mirant. The supply agreement will also ensure Lafarge’s continuing, cost-effective access to a critical raw material used in its building products. Upon scheduled completion in 2010, the gypsum board manufactured in this plant will exceed 99 percent recycled content by weight and qualify toward the attainment of LEED credits in the construction of “Green Buildings” throughout the northeastern U.S.

With the addition of the Buchanan plant, nearly all of the gypsum board manufactured by Lafarge in North America will be made with 100-percent recycled paper and gypsum. Currently, Lafarge’s Silver Grove, Ky. and Palatka, Fla. plants qualify for this distinction.

“This is a major step in our evolution to be the industry leader in gypsum board and the number one supplier of ‘green’ building products,” said Ike Preston, President of Lafarge Gypsum in North America. “This upgrade will allow us to serve virtually all of our trading area with recycled product and assist our customers in meeting the requirements of LEED certified construction.”

Mirant will transport the synthetic gypsum to Lafarge’s Buchanan facility from its Morgantown and Chalk Point electric generating stations in Maryland. Synthetic gypsum is a byproduct created from the sulfur dioxide removal technology currently being constructed at Mirant’s Maryland power plants as part of the company’s $1.6 billion investment in air pollution control technologies.

“Partnering with Lafarge allows Mirant to maximize the environmental benefit from the installation of these systems. The beneficial use of the synthetic gypsum eliminates the need for waste disposal of the byproduct,” said Bob Driscoll, CEO, Mirant Mid-Atlantic LLC.