Lasselberger concerns

Lasselberger concerns
Published: 27 April 2004

Austrian cement maker Lasselsberger said today it might scrap a plan to build a Kc2.5bn Czech plant unless all Czech cement works enjoy equal conditions.

All cement works should comply with the strictest environmental limits, not only new buildings, its owner Josef Lasselsberger said.  He added the company would rethink its investment in Stramberk if the Environment Ministry does not take steps against its rivals.

Lasselsberger, which has invested EUR200m in the Czech Republic since 1998, maintains it seems to be the only company obliged to use top technologies in its new plant. But Environment Ministry spokeswoman Katerina Sulova said there was nothing illegal about the operation of the other cement works.

"The current plants must get the same permit as the Stramberk plant, but they have time until October 30, 2007," said Sulova.

"These were plants in operation, while the Stramberk plant is being built as a new one at a time when the law on integrated prevention, mentioning top technologies, has come into force," she added.  Lasselsberger has now asked for a building permit and expects to launch the construction of its plant in the second half of the year.  The company with 12,000 staff worldwide owns several plants in the Czech Republic, including leading tile makers CHKZ and Keramika Horni Briza.