Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd would not recommend its parent company invest in a new $200m cement plant near Weston with the draft Climate Change Bill in its present form. However, managing director Jeremy Smith said Holcim got a good hearing when it presented its case to the finance and expenditure select committee this month.
It had a "very real sense" the Government was listening and taking seriously what was a very complex issue.
While the company had been unequivocal in its support for the concept of emissions trading, it did not support the design of the trading scheme as set out in the draft Bill.
Mr Smith told the committee the draft Bill would result in more carbon dioxide being generated globally from cement manufacture.
The emissions trading scheme, as outlined in the Bill, encouraged Holcim to keep its existing plant at Westport open and continue to supplement it with imports, rather than to replace it with a highly efficient modern plant which produced much less CO2 per tonne of cement.
"An effective emissions trading scheme needs to lead to reductions in global emissions, and should be encouraging us to invest in low-emissions technology," Mr Smith told the committee.
The company said, ultimately, it could result in New Zealand’s domestic cement manufacturing base relocating offshore, while at the same time increasing the output of CO2 globally.
Yesterday, Mr Smith told the Otago Daily Times the comment that the company not recommend Holcim Ltd invest in a new plant with the draft Bill in its present form was not a threat.
"It’s simply a matter of understanding the Bill in its current form," he said.
Holcim had got a sense the Government was listening and taking into account the "hard facts and figures". The company had been asked if it was available to come back closer to the final select committee paper being put to the Government.
Mr Smith believed the issue could be worked through with an outcome to suit all parties.