Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd is welcoming two council officer's reports - from the Otago Regional Council and the Waitaki District Council - which support the company's resource consent applications for its Weston Option cement plant proposal.
"It is helpful and encouraging the councils' reports have recommended the Weston resource applications be granted, subject of course to any conditions that may be required to address potential effects," says Paul Commons, General Manager, Strategy and Development for Holcim New Zealand.
"It is important to note there is a formal hearing process, scheduled to begin in Oamaru on 20 August, at which a panel of independent commissioners will consider the cement plant proposal. The councils' reports are recommendations only and are not binding on the commissioners. They do take into account, however, Holcim's resource consent applications and the issues raised in the public submissions on the proposal.
"The recommendations in the reports also reflect the focus in Holcim's applications on council plans, as well as on meeting relevant guidelines and standards.
"Holcim appreciates the thorough effort put into the council officer's reports." Holcim is also investigating other options to meet cement demand.
The company has one medium-term option: to continue with the existing Westport plant in combination with supporting bulk cement imports. A new plant at Weston is one long-term option, the other being a new plant at Westport. Holcim New Zealand is working on narrowing these options from three to two, which will be put forward to parent company Holcim Ltd for a decision, not expected before 2008.
"The councils' recommendations follow the huge amount of technical work we have completed on the Weston cement plant proposal in order to avoid, remedy or mitigate any potential effects, as required under the Resource Management Act."
Following the hearing the panel of commissioners will make a decision on whether to grant Holcim's Weston cement plant applications and if so with what conditions.
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