Ten years on from the tsunami, our Lhoknga plant is looking to the future

On December 26, 2004, an exceptionally powerful tsunami struck the coast of Indonesia, destroying our Lhoknga cement plant and killing 674 of our employees and their family members. Ten years on, through sheer courage and hard work, our plant has been rebuilt and optimized, we have recruited and trained new teams locally and have reinforced our links with local communities, thanks in particular to a microcredit scheme.


Teams recruited locally and trained to Lafarge standards

A commemoration so as not to forget

Lafarge Indonesia is organizing a series of events on December 21st, to commemorate the tsunami and pay tribute to the victims:

  • the unveiling of a memorial, attended by representatives of the local and regional authorities, victims' families and plant employees. The architect Suhendar , who created the monument, was appointed following a competition organized by our local teams in a partnership with leading University in Aceh and the school of architecture.
  • a photo exhibition, entitled the "Journey of Lhoknga's Awakening", illustrating the progress made by our plant, from its destruction to its current functioning, via the reconstruction stages.

Following the deaths of 137 of the plant's 489 employees, we have rebuilt teams, creating jobs in our local communities. Our Lhoknga cement plant now has 212 employees, 88 % of whom come from the Aceh Province including two villages next to the plant, and for the subcontrators, 86% are native of Aceh. 

"We have carried out significant skills redevelopment work, adds Antony Ricolfi, Indonesia Country CEO since 2012. Since 2007, over73 young engineers, 95% of them from Aceh, have been trained by our Lafarge experts from Korea, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Serbia, Greece and Pakistan There has been also BOOST missions which helped a lot to transfer know-how to our team .We are strengthening these efforts by opening a school in the plant to support our employees and subcontractors."


Development of local communities and launch of affordable housing microfinance program

Expression of solidarity within the Group

The story of our reconstruction in Aceh is also a story of solidarity. Our teams and those in the region affected by the disaster received support at all levels of the Group:

  • At national level, all the country's teams in Jakarta and Medan traveled to the site just after the tsunami to support their colleagues from Aceh.
  • At regional level: with the help of Cementia and the Langkawi cement plant in Malaysia, our teams were able to resume cement deliveries to Aceh just nine months after the disaster.
  • At Group level: As Antony Ricolfi sums up, "I often meet Lafarge employees from other countries who traveled to Aceh after the tsunami to offer their help, clean, clear rubble and rebuild".

The teams at our plant in Lhoknga have set up numerous development initiatives for the benefit of local communities, in four priority fields:

  • Education: between 2012 and 2014, children from the 2 villages where the plant operate (Lhokgna and Leupeung) benefited from 900 Lafarge scholarships.
  • Health & Safety: training and awareness days have been organized for employees and members of our communities.
  • Social activities: our employees take part in a number of volunteering initiatives.
  • Economic development: three years ago, we also set up a microcredit scheme, creating between 150 and 200 jobs a year over the past three years. We also worked with local village cooperatives to help and support job creations.

After contributing to the reconstruction of numerous homes in affected areas, Lafarge Indonesia was among the pioneers of our affordable housing microfinance program. Since its launch in 2012, we have helped more than 2000 home renovation and extension projects and contributed to providing better living conditions to more than 10,000 people. The pilot carried out in Aceh also laid the groundwork for an innovative commercial package, which now covers more than 120,000 people in 15 countries!

Antony Ricolfi believes that "all our teams can feel proud of what they have accomplished, both in the plant and among our local communities. It is the greatest tribute to their formidable spirit of resistance. I am delighted to feel this desire to be entrepreneur, learn and look ahead to the future."