Holcim Focuses On Weston Hearing

15 August 2007

Holcim New Zealand is distributing this week around 8000 copies of the August newsletter on its Weston Option cement plant to households in the Oamaru district.

"With the hearing scheduled to begin on Monday 20 August in Oamaru, we are now focused on presenting our assessments to the panel of independent commissioners," says Paul Commons, General Manager, Strategy and Development for Holcim New Zealand.

As well as an outline of the hearing process, the August newsletter provides summaries of transport-related topics that a number of people mentioned in their submissions: traffic, trucks and rail, as well as the Weston walkway / cycleway.

It also covers Holcim's recent environmental award for the rehabilitation work done at the company's Westport quarry (MIMICO Environmental Excellence Award 2007).

The hearing process
When the hearing begins on Monday 20 August Holcim New Zealand will present its evidence first. This is likely to take several days and will include a description of the project followed by detailed technical evidence from the various experts that Holcim has engaged.

Following this, those who asked to speak to their submission will be invited to present their evidence. Again this could take several days.

"We are encouraging local people who made a submission in favour of the Weston cement plant applications to have their say at the hearing as that will add more weight to their written submission."< /p>

After the hearing is complete, the panel of commissioners will consider all the evidence presented and announce their decision, probably after several months, on whether to grant or decline Holcim's applications.

The commissioners may grant some or all of the applications with conditions. Both the applicant and submitters are able to appeal the panel's decisions to the Environment Court.

Decision-making process
The Weston option cement plant is one of three options being considered by Holcim New Zealand to meet future demand for cement in New Zealand. A final decision on any of the options being considered will be made by parent company Holcim Ltd and is not expected before 2008.

For more information contact:
Gerald Raymond
Phone 027 443-7253