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Holcim Consulting With Local Oamaru Communities

Holcim Consulting With Local Oamaru Communities

Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd has begun consulting with people and groups who could potentially be affected by a new cement plant near Weston, close to Oamaru, if it went ahead.

Holcim New Zealand is investigating several options to meet the long-term growth in cement demand in New Zealand, one of which is a new plant near Weston.

“We are seeking resource consents for the Weston site, but first need to do further research and technical investigation, as well as consulting with members of the local communities,” says Paul Commons, General Manager, Strategy and Development, for Holcim New Zealand.

“Our focus this year is to consult with people and groups who would potentially be affected by a cement plant at Weston, if it went ahead.

“As well as people living around the potential cement plant site at Weston, we are talking with people at Windsor, the site of a possible sand quarry, and at Ngapara, where a coal mine to feed the cement kiln could be developed.

“We have already invited and met with around 60 of the people living adjacent to these three sites at one of two informal information sessions, held in mid-May at the Weston rugby clubrooms.

Technical experts are now gathering data and undertaking initial investigations on a variety of subjects required for the resource consenting process, including landscape, ecology, transport, noise, air emissions, quarrying, water quality and quantity, as well as the social and cultural impacts.

“Information sheets summarising key information from these initial investigations will be made widely available from late July or early August.”
The first information sheet, on the consultation process, has already been prepared and is now available.

“It is important to note that Weston is still only one of a number of options for Holcim New Zealand. Obtaining the necessary resource consents at Weston does not guarantee a cement plant would be built there. The resource consents are needed before our parent company will formally consider a manufacturing option for capital expenditure.”

Holcim New Zealand is able to undertake only one resource consenting project at a time, given the amount of technical and expert work needed and the scale of resources required.

“The final decision on whether to proceed at Weston or with any of the other options being explored will be made by parent company Holcim Ltd. Any decision is some time away, and would take into account resource consenting outcomes, land ownership, commercial contracts, community consultation, as well as the policies and plans of local and central government.”

“In the meantime we will continue to focus on our community consultation and technical investigations, ahead of our resource consent application which is expected to be lodged early next year,” concludes Paul Commons.


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