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Longtime cement plant to idle operations

<i>WMTW</i><br/>Dragon Products Company says it will start a gradual process of
Dragon Products Company says it will start a gradual process of "idling production operations."

By Adam Bartow

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    THOMASTON, Maine (WMTW) — Dragon Products Company says it will start shutting down its plant in Thomaston starting in December.

Dragon, which has been owned by Giant Cement Holding, Inc. since 2006, has been in operation for nearly 100 years. The company says it will start a gradual process of “idling production operations.”

The company blames the move on “the persistent escalation of operating and logistical costs, exerting a negative impact on the Thomaston plant’s viability.”

“Despite our best efforts to adapt and navigate through these challenging circumstances, we have determined that these actions are necessary for the long-term sustainability of our business,” said Roberto Polit, Vice President of Operations.

The plant currently employs 72 people. The company says some employees have been presented with options to relocate to other plants.

In a statement, Thomaston Town Manager Kara George said “Dragon Cement has been an integral part of our community for nearly a century. A news release of its closure is unexpected and will have impacts to Thomaston with the loss of jobs and tax revenue.”

George said in the last fiscal year, Dragon personal property taxes were assessed at $547,141 and real estate taxes of $1,237,008. Dragon says it will continue to pay property taxes.

The current facility has been in operation since 1928. According to the company, the first attempt at a cement plant was established in Thomaston in 1878 but only operated for two years, shutting down after realizing it could not compete with European imports. The Dragon name had been trademarked since 1889.

Affected employees are being offered support. Phased employee separations are scheduled to begin in December, with the process expected to be done by the beginning of 2025.

“We extend our sincere gratitude to all employees who have contributed significantly to our plant in Thomaston,” said Polit. “Their hard work, dedication, and commitment have been invaluable to our operations. We are also grateful for the support and understanding shown by the local community throughout the years.”

GCHI and Dragon say they remain dedicated to supplying quality cement and slag through their New England distribution terminal network.

Dragon produces Portland and masonry cement, providing materials for highways, bridges and buildings.

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