August date for terminal build

NATASHA THYNE AND DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Last updated 05:00 25/06/2014

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Holcim New Zealand has the final approvals needed to build its new import cement terminal at the Port of Timaru.

The 30,000 tonne import terminal will be located at the top end of the No 2 wharf at the port.

It will be dome-shaped and sit beside the existing grain silos, which will gradually be demolished, Holcim NZ managing director Jeremy Smith says.

It represents a $100 million investment, split roughly 50-50 between the Timaru site and another new site to be built in Auckland.

Smith said construction in Timaru would begin in August.

Each site would employ up to 50 people during the construction phase, and once operational, each terminal would have six employees.

The timeframe for having both new terminals operational is the second half of 2016.

"Building an import terminal at Timaru is also consistent with the option of eventually building a new cement plant at Weston in North Otago, which remains on hold for the foreseeable future," Smith said.

Holcim NZ intended to retain all the assets associated with the Weston site and project, he said.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said Holcim's announcement was encouraging news for the Waitaki District.

"It certainly follows our expectations. It's positive news that they're keeping the assets at Weston for the development to happen. While they're not committing, the fact they are keeping that option open is very important to us.

"The new terminal can also act as a distribution centre if, or when, Holcim does start production at Weston."

Kircher said any development at Weston would help expand the district's economic makeup. It would add another 100 jobs and would diversify the local economy.

It would also provide a boost for the construction sector and create other employment opportunities further down the line, he said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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