Holcim to talk to group opposing cement plant

Holcim to talk to group opposing cement plant
Published: 07 December 2006

A group opposing the construction of a cement plant near Weston and the company wanting to build it will meet for the first time next week.  
The Waiareka Valley Preservation Society was formally established at the end of last month to oppose a plan Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd announced in May to investigate building a $200 million cement plant just west of Weston. 
Since then, the society has called for Holcim to release information about emissions from the proposed plant so the community can better understand the effects on North Otago.  
Yesterday, when contacted, Holcim’s cement plant project leader Paul Commons said the company first heard of the formation of the group about two weeks ago.  
"The most we know about them has been what has been published in the newspapers," he said.  
Mr Commons said Holcim would meet the group on Wednesday as part of its consultation process.  
"We would like to sit down with them and work through the things they are raising and answer their inquiries and questions as we can."  
Mr Commons said Holcim had been involved in a consultation process since May, when it announced its plans to investigate the Weston plant.  
That consultation would continue through to Holcim lodging resource consent applications early next year, and during the consents process.  
If Holcim gained resource consents and the company decided to build the plant, the community involvement would carry on through a community liaison group, similar to those the company had in other areas of New Zealand.  
That liaison group would involve groups, suppliers, neighbours and others with an interest in the plant.  
In addition, Holcim was releasing information when it became available.  
"It is important we communicate accurately and to everyone at the same time," Mr Commons said.  
The Weston plant is one of four options being investigated by Holcim to meet a growing demand for cement in New Zealand.  
The society is holding a public meeting in the Weston Hall on Tuesday night at 7pm.