New Zealand: port lease approved for cement trade
New Zealand’s foreign investment watchdog has approved a leasehold deal at Timaru’s port as part of a Swiss cement giant’s plans for a US$500m plant near Oamaru.
The amount Holcim paid for the leasehold of 2.26ha at Evans Bay in Timaru for 50 years and more was kept confidential in the consent document released by the Overseas Investment Office. The land is for the wharf and storage facilities to handle cement from the new plant.
However, Holcim announced in October it would not make a decision on the proposed cement plant at Weston, near Oamaru, until late next year – another delay in a plan that has already taken more than five years to get this far.
Holcim is lining up the facilities for the project if the company’s board in Switzerland gives the go-ahead.
A new wharf at Evans Bay is to be built with adjacent cement and clinker storage in silos and loading equipment.
Construction of the big cement works at Weston, which would have the capacity to produce 860,000tpa, is expected to create 480 jobs.
Primeport Timaru expects another 1Mta of cargo a year and at least one more ship visit each week if the Weston plant goes ahead.