Concrete cuts loom

The company said the move was part of an operational restructuring of its Munster plant, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the facility.

Under changes the company will cease domestic clinker production, turning instead to an import model the company says will ensure it remains the state’s leading supplier of cement and lime products.

By 2016, the company hopes to be importing the 400,000 tonnes of clinker it previously produced at its local plant each year.

With less production, 44 positions were made redundant. The company said most were voluntary.

A further 20 fixed-term contracts are likely not to be renewed when they lapse.

While disappointed there would be cuts to local jobs, Cockburn MLA Fran Logan said the change could lead to a significant reduction in dust and odour, a common complaint among residents near the plant.

‘The shutting down of these kilns and the fact that we as a community forced the company to put bag house filters on the remaining lime kilns will lead to better health outcomes and cleaner environment for the residents of Cockburn,’ he said.

A spokesperson for Cockburn Cement said that while they were turning towards an import model, clinker production would slow gradually – rather than come to an abrupt halt, although the company could produce its own clinker should there be enough demand.