Holcim Gets Approval for Port Land Near Planned N.Z. Plant

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Holcim Ltd., the world’s second-biggest cement maker, got approval from New Zealand’s foreign investment regulator to lease port land near a proposed plant.

The value of the lease of the 2.3 hectares of land near Timaru on New Zealand’s South Island wasn’t disclosed in the approval notice posted on the Overseas Investment Office website. The lease agreement is with PrimePort Timaru Ltd., which is 71 percent owned by the Timaru District Council.

Holcim New Zealand plans to build a cement storage facility on the site, which is a “critical part” of development of a new cement plant near Oamaru, about 49 miles south, it said in its application. In October, Holcim said consideration of the new project by its Swiss parent isn’t expected until late 2012 because of deteriorating global economic conditions.

Holcim, which makes about half of New Zealand’s cement, has been considering the project since 2006 to replace its ageing Westport plant.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at twithers@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Johnson at ejohnson28@bloomberg.net