Holcim (New Zealand) to close Westport plant, build new import terminal

Holcim (New Zealand) to close Westport plant, build new import terminal
01 August 2013

Holcim (New Zealand) is to close its Westport cement plant as it looks to build a new import terminal elsewhere in the country. It has also put on hold plans for construction of a new cement plant in Oamaru.

The company said in a statement that it will spend over NZD100m (US$79.5m) over the next three years to construct the terminal and associated infrastructure that will allow it to import and distribute bulk cement for supply to the New Zealand market.

Announcing the decision, Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd Managing Director Jeremy Smith said: “This represents a substantial commitment by Holcim to the New Zealand building materials market. It means we will be able to leverage off the vast resources available through the Holcim Ltd worldwide supply network to ensure that our New Zealand customers receive cement of a quality and specification suitable for New Zealand conditions.”

The location is yet to be finalised as the company is exploring options at a number of New Zealand ports. The terminal is expected to be operational in 2-3 years.

The decision also means that the proposal for a new cement plant at Weston, near Oamaru, is on hold for the foreseeable future but Holcim will continue to maintain ownership of their land assets, the statement added.

Commenting on the decision to close the 0.6Mta Westport plant, Mr Smith said: It’s one we’ve arrived at after extensively investigating a range of cement supply options and we will be working through the implications with those who will be impacted by the move.” He further added: “For the current economic environment, constructing an import terminal and importing cement is simply the most appropriate decision.”

Published under Cement News