Holcim New Zealand is making big changes to its New Zealand
operations, by building a new $50 million import cement
terminal at Timaru's port, looking at selling its lime
operations including Dunback, keeping a new cement plant at
Weston on hold and combining management with Australia.
Work is expected to start on the 30,000-tonnes-a-year
terminal at Timaru's PrimePort in August, with a second,
worth another $50 million, in Auckland in December.
The two new terminals will each employ up to 50 people during
the construction phase and when completed each will have six
''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 Auckland terminal enabled Holcim to supply directly into
one of its major markets and the Timaru terminal gave access
to the major market of Christchurch.
Both should be operational by the second half of 2016.
Building an import terminal at Timaru was also consistent
with Holcim's option of eventually building a new cement
plant at Weston, which remained on hold, Mr Smith said.
Holcim intended to retain all the assets associated with the
Weston site and project.
PrimePort chief executive Jeremy Boys said the announcement
was heartening and positive, coming after discussions dating
back to last year.
It would also involve a separate investment by the port in
upgrading the No 2 wharf, providing infrastructure and
dredging, estimated to cost about $20 million.
Mr Boys could not say what contribution the terminal would
make to the port's income because that was commercially
sensitive, but said it was a welcome long-term addition.
Holcim in August decided imported cement would replace local
production at the Westport cement plant, which would close
once the two import terminals were fully operational.
Holcim is now reviewing its options for its lime businesses,
which could include divesting part or all of the lime
operations because they were outside the company's future
McDonalds Lime Ltd employed 72 people at the country's
largest single lime quarry at Oparure, just north of Te
The company had manufacturing plants at Otorohanga and Te
Taylors Lime's 12 staff at Dunback had also been briefed
about the review.
A ''comprehensive process'' would assess the options with a
specialist to assist.
Mr Smith said the changes would eventually reduce the scale
and scope of the New Zealand business and require a smaller
corporate management, making it logical to combine it with
the Australian operations into one business.
Mr Smith's job would be disestablished at the end of this
year, but he would remain with the company into next year to
assist with the transition.
A country manager would be appointed for New Zealand later
this year, with Mark Campbell, at present Australian chief
executive officer, taking over the joint management.