New Zealand: Contractors are being asked to register their interest in building a USD400m cement plant near Weston and a shipping terminal at Timaru's port on behalf of Holcim New Zealand. Holcim is still seeking final approval for the projects. Expressions of interest close on 29 July 2011. On 28 June 2011 Holcim New Zealand posted a message on its website inviting contractors to register their interest. Capital projects manager Ken Cowie stated that the marketplace needs to be aware of what will be required if the company's parent board in Switzerland approves the project.
"Getting some preliminary information from the marketplace now would help us get the project under way in a timely manner if the Holcim Ltd board approves it later this year," said Cowie. "It's also about getting an indication of which contractors are in the marketplace with suitable qualifications and experience to undertake the various aspects of work that will be required."
The tentative timetable to construct the plant on a 40ha site indicates that, subject to board approval, site preparation could start in late 2011, equipment could be ordered in late 2011 and early 2012 and the pouring of foundations could take place in the third quarter of 2012. At the peak of construction, almost 500 people would be employed. Commissioning of the plant would be in early 2014 with production starting by the middle of that year. Actual dates for work on the project would depend on if and when approval is received.
The decision to call for expressions of interest from contractors followed the executive committee of parent company Holcim Ltd in may recommending the proposal go forward to its board for a decision. The general scope of works outlined in the expressions of interest document includes the Weston cement plant, associated quarries and pits and a new clinker and cement shipping terminal at Timaru.
The main raw material quarries and pits, limestone, tuff and siltstone were immediately next to the plant site and silica sand would be trucked from a pit near Windsor. Coal to fuel a kiln would be trucked from an open cast pit at Ngapara. KiwiRail would reconstruct the branch line from the South Island main trunk line at Waiareka to the plant to haul cement to Timaru.
"Aspects of the work, such as cement plant mechanical and electrical equipment, would require the involvement of specialist international suppliers and we've been in discussion with a number of these companies about our potential requirements since late 2010," said Cowie.
Holcim New Zealand said it was looking for contractors who had an excellent record of working collaboratively with both the client and other contractors to successfully complete 'a world-class project.' Completing the project with the least possible impact on the environment was also a project goal.
Holcim New Zealand would have overall management of the project and contract out a number of packages of work related to quarry operations, construction of the plant and the Timaru shipping terminal. Following a review of applications, selected contractors will be provided with detailed specifications and drawings and invited to submit bids for the various packages of work.
Once the Weston plant is completed Holcim will close its 50 year old cement factory near Westport in the West Coast region. The Buller District Mayor, Pat McManus, stated that the district's coal industry should fill the gap in the economy. Cowie stated that the West Coast facility will remain open for about three years while the new plant is built.