Holcim Thanks Weston Cement Plant Option Submitters

26 October 2007

Holcim New Zealand is distributing this weekend around 8000 copies, to households in the Oamaru district, of its October newsletter on the company's Weston Option cement plant proposal.

The resource consent hearing for the Weston cement plant proposal was adjourned on Friday 12 October. The panel of three commissioners have retired to consider the proposal presented by Holcim, the Council officers' report, as well as comments presented by other submitters, over the four weeks of the resource consenting hearing, held in Oamaru.

"We expect it will take six to eight weeks for the commissioners, once they confirm they have sufficient information, to release their decision," says Paul Commons, General Manager, Strategy and Development for Holcim New Zealand.

"We would also like to thank everyone who participated in the hearing, and particularly those who submitted in support of the Weston proposal and spoke to their submissions at the hearing."

The decision, when released, can involve either: the consents being granted; the consents being granted with conditions; or the consents not being granted.

After the decision is released either Holcim or submitters can lodge an appeal.

The Weston option cement plant is one of three priority options being considered by Holcim New Zealand to meet future demand for cement in New Zealand. Holcim New Zealand is currently consulting with its staff as it considers findings relating to investigations into these three priority options.

Holcim is considering one medium-term (continuation of the Westport works with bulk imports) and two long-term options (a new plant at either Westport or Weston, Oamaru) for meeting cement demand in New Zealand.

"While no decision has yet been made, the findings so far indicate the existing Westport plant plus bulk imports offers a low capital cost option," says Paul Commons.

"When comparing the two new plant options an Weston new plant option would appear to offer some advantages over a Westport new plant option."

A final decision on any of the options being considered will be made by parent company Holcim Ltd and is not expected before late-2008.

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