PrimePort Timaru is staying confident the proposed Holcim cement plant will go ahead despite it being further delayed, according to reports by the Timaru Herald.
A said a decision on the US$500m plant, to be built at Weston near Oamaru, is now not expected until late next year.
Holcim New Zealand's latest newsletter to the community said the decision was due to the continuing uncertainty of the international financial situation.
More than 480 jobs will be created in North Otago during construction of the plant. It will have the capacity to produce 860,000tpa of cement.
PrimePort would also win if the plant went ahead. The company would handle up to an extra one 1Mta of cargo a year and would expect at least one more ship every week. Work required would include construction of a new wharf at Evans Bay, adjacent cement and clinker storage in silos, installing unloading and loading equipment and upgrading the rail network connecting the port to Weston.
PrimePort chief executive Jeremy Boys said he remained very positive about the project. "We'll simply just continue to work with Holcim, and we understand the reasons there has been delays in this difficult climate."
It was a "positive project for the horizon", but was not embedded in the company's immediate business strategy, he said.
"That project shows a lot of potential and we continue to mention it [in our annual reports] in that sense.
"It will add a lot of volume and through-put for the port, and that will be positive for our business and the Timaru community, as well as further south in Oamaru and the Waitaki."
The latest newsletter said the team was "refining project information and working on various elements" to ensure the proposal was ready for future consideration.