Holcim NZ gets set to increase imports

Holcim NZ gets set to increase imports
Published: 25 June 2014


Holcim New Zealand has confirmed its Westport cement plant will close by the second half of 2016 as the company now has all the final approvals to go ahead with its investment to build two 30,000t import terminals.

Work is expected to start on the US$50m terminal at Timaru's PrimePort in August, with a second, worth another US$50m, in Auckland in December. Both should be operational by the second half of 2016.

"This confirmation of start dates can be taken as a sign of the global company's confidence in the strength of the New Zealand market and in particular the opportunities with the rebuild of Christchurch post-earthquake," Holcim NZ's managing director Jeremy Smith said yesterday.

The company announced in August 2013 that imported cement would replace local production at Westport. Closure of the Westport facility will result in the loss of 120 jobs

The Swiss-owned firm also said it is shedding four management jobs after combining its New Zealand and Australia businesses.

Plans for a new cement manufacturing plant at Weston in North Otago, New Zealand, remain on hold but the company is keeping the assets so it has the option of "eventually building a new cement plant". Building an import terminal at Timaru was also consistent with Holcim's option of eventually building a new cement plant at Weston. Holcim intended to retain all the assets associated with the Weston site and project.

Holcim is also trying to sell its lime operations in New Zealand, which it no longer regards as core business.