Holcim Reports Planning Progress

17 July 2008

Planning for the proposed new cement plant near Oamaru is continuing to progress leading up to the Environment Court Appeal hearing.

In a newsletter being sent to more than 8000 Oamaru residents this week, Holcim reports that its project team is progressing a number of key aspects of the project.

"Our work at this point is primarily focused on refining the plant layout, technical design, and establishing specifications for key plant and equipment supply," said Holcim Capital Projects Manager, Ken Cowie. "We are continuing to collect meteorological data and are also revisiting evidence being prepared by expert witnesses for the Environment Court Appeal hearing. Further to this we are also progressing the associated project to build a new ship for cement distribution to replace one of our two ships, the MV Westport, so the project team is very busy."

The newsletter also outlines a visit in May by the Holcim Steering Group overseeing the Cement Supply Options Project. Steering group members viewed the sites of the proposed new cement plant and associated quarries / pits. The committee and the Cement Supply Project team also had the opportunity to meet with some of the Oamaru and civic business leaders at an evening function.

"Meeting with Oamaru business people and discussing the status of the project and its potential impact on business opportunities for Oamaru was definitely the highlight of what the Committee found to be a very interesting and informative day," Ken Cowie said.

A number of other initiatives are also outlined in the newsletter, including development of a wetland and bird sanctuary to be created on eight hectares of Holcim land at Cape Foulwind. The conservation project recognises 50 years of operations at Westport Cement Works and will include a series of small lakes, a walkway around the wetland, a bird hide and interpretive panels which explain the wetland ecosystem. The project follows more than 20 years of land rehabilitation Holcim has carried out at its Westport quarry to help regenerate native coastal planting, a project that last year won it a national environmental excellence award.

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Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd is a leading New Zealand supplier of cement, aggregates, ready mixed concrete and lime. Its involvement in the New Zealand building industry dates back to 1888, and today it operates more than 35 sites and employs approximately 550 people. It is part of the Holcim Group, one of the world's leading suppliers of cement, aggregates and construction-related services represented in over 70 countries on all continents.

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For further information please contact:
Gerald Raymond PH 027 443 7253

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Internet: www.holcim.com/nz