Holcim New Zealand announced today it had reduced its options to two: a new plant at Weston, near Oamaru, or continuing the existing Westport plant and importing bulk cement.
It favours Weston, for which it received interim approval last week, as a ``long term option with an expected life of at least 50 years’’. The second choice, Westport, was “a medium-term option of 20 -30 years’’.
The 50-year-old Westport works employs more than 130 people at Cape Foulwind. Holcim’s capital projects manager, Ken Cowie, denied that Westport’s chance of a new works had completely gone. ``These are two priority options, not the only two options,’’ Mr Cowie said. ``For the Oamaru option to proceed, we still have to get workable resource consents. And we won’t know that until the end of the Environment Court process, if it goes to the Environment Court.’’
Mr Cowie said the interim approval for Weston included some “very stringent conditions” on which Holcim had until December 19 to respond. Its main concerns were conditions on air discharges, and the hours of operation for the coal mine supplying the works.