Holcim picks Auckland and Timaru

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 13:33 16/12/2013

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Holcim (New Zealand) has chosen Timaru and Auckland as locations for a pair of port terminals to import bulk cement.

The Swiss-owned corporate says it is moving to the next stage of the $100 million investment programme that will allow it to import and distribute the cement.

It plans to build two 30,000 tonne import terminals, one in the South Island and one in the North Island. It will have these operational within two to three years under the investment programme.

Lyttelton port has missed out on the opportunity to be one of the two main terminals.

However, Holcim said a $5m new silo capacity project at Lyttelton was nearing completion as part of the overall $100m investment programme.

Holcim said after reviewing proposals from ports throughout New Zealand, it had identified Waitemata in Auckland and Timaru as its preferred locations for the two terminals.

"An import terminal at the Port of Auckland enables Holcim to supply cement direct into one of its major markets", Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd capital projects manager Ken Cowie said.

"And choosing the Port of Timaru provides effective access to the major market of Christchurch, utilising the new silo capacity there, and to the rest of the South Island."

Building an import terminal at Timaru was also consistent with the option of eventually building a new cement plant at Weston, near Oamaru, although this remained on hold for the foreseeable future, Cowie said.

The company in late 2009 received the required resource consents for Weston, which had been estimated as a $300m to $500m project.

The company announced in August that imported cement would replace local production at the company's Westport cement plant, which will close once the two import terminals are fully operational.

The closure of the Westport operation will be a blow to the West Coast, with the loss of an estimated 120 jobs.

The initiative also means Holcim is switching from manufacturing cement in New Zealand to importing it.

Holcim said subject to confirming final details with the preferred ports, construction was intended to start in 2014.

Holcim (New Zealand) is a leading New Zealand supplier of cement, aggregates and lime operating at more than 30 sites and employing about 420 people.

It is part of the Holcim Group, a global supplier of cement, aggregates and construction-related services.

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- Fairfax Media

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