FGD (Synthetic Gypsum) Conversion, Lafarge-North America
Buchanan, New York

Lafarge Gypsum, Buchanan, NYWBCM was the lead design firm for the conversion of the Buchanan, NY, Lafarge Gypsum wallboard manufacturing facility from natural rock to synthetic gypsum. WBCM’s efforts included the planning and design of the reconstruction and expansion of the existing 40-year old ship docking facility into a new barge terminal with the capacity to berth and unload 14,000-ton ocean-going barges. The docking facility required construction of a new pier for a stationary platform-mounted clam shell crane, a new mooring dolphin, a new fendering system, a gangway tower, and a new automated winch system for barge position during unloading operations. The docking facility also required reconstruction of breasting dolphins and the existing unloading platform. WBCM designed steel piles with drilled rock sockets to achieve the pile design capacities because of the soft sediment overlaying rock geology of the Hudson River.

WBCM designed and detailed the 26-foot diameter unloading hopper and rotary discharger that control the feed of raw material onto a new 48-inch transfer belt. The transfer belt conveys the raw material onto the existing 60-inch rock conveyor located on the existing dock. WBCM prepared general arrangement drawings, procurement documents, and equipment data sheets and specifications for the crane, winch system, and rotary discharger. WBCM prepared, submitted, and obtained all required permits, which included environmental, coastal zones, and waterway construction permits. WBCM also provided all planning, structural engineering, civil engineering, and industrial/process engineering for the new mill and raw materials feed equipment.

WBCM worked with Lafarge Gypsum to maintain normal operations at the plant during construction.


  • Owner:
    Lafarge Gypsum – North America
  • Size:
    3,150 SF (Mill Addition)
    4,400 SF (Dock Improvements)
  • Total Construction Cost:
    $32.8 million
  • WBCM Services:
    Industrial/Process Engineering
    Marine Engineering
    Site Engineering
    Structural Engineering