And the move has been warmly welcomed by plant manager Florin Stoiean.
In a recent House of Commons motion, Ms O’Donnell acknowledged the strategic significance of the cement industry and the contribution it makes to the UK economy and society.
She added that the Lafarge Tarmac Dunbar cement plant was hugely important for both the East Lothian and wider Scottish and UK economies.
She said: “It provides skilled jobs and apprenticeships for local people, and, as Scotland’s only cement works, is vital to the construction industry in Scotland and northern England. I will continue to support and promote the valuable contribution it makes to the county.”
Mr Stoiean, who took over as plant manager in July, warmly welcomed the comments, saying he was delighted Ms O’Donnell recognised the importance of the site.
“We continue to be one of the biggest employers in East Lothian and support our local communities,” he said. “But it’s also our ability to produce quality Scottish cement using ever-more waste-derived fuels and recycled raw materials that makes us unbeatable - economically and environmentally.
“This is why we are investing heavily to ensure the site is well-equipped to become a key partner in Scotland’s future economic success over the coming decades.”
The Dunbar Cement plant started operations 50 years and now has 130 employees. It is estimated to contribute over £8 million to the local economy each year through salaries, rates, contracts with local suppliers and donations.
It has benefited from some £100 million of investment since it was built, including a highly efficient kiln and landmark preheater tower and the £20 million gas scrubber built in 2007, which has halved sulphur and dust emissions.