The Perry Group has confirmed its ambition of supplying a competitive cement option to the New Zealand market by announcing the continuation of the construction of a $25 million cement plant project in the Waitomo region.
A significant advantage will be the plant’s ability to produce low-cost cement that is close to market.
“The plant will be small, relative to other New Zealand plants, producing up to 80,000 tonnes per annum, but will be highly efficient,” according to Perry Group chairman Simon Perry.
“New Zealand’s unique geography means shipping, ports and road transport are expensive parts of the cement supply chain. Our operation is close to major markets and decreases the significant costs associated with shipping and ports infrastructure,” Mr Perry says.
The cement operation will supply concrete customers throughout the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Auckland regions — an area known as “The Golden Triangle”.
Perry Resources has a long-term supply arrangement with Ravensdown Fertiliser Cooperative, and the planned site for the cement plant is at an established limestone quarry at Te Kumi, 5km north of Te Kuiti and owned by Ravensdown, New Zealand’s largest ag-lime producer.
The site is already intensively quarried, producing high grade agricultural lime for the farming sector, and burnt lime for the pulp and paper and road stabilisation industries.
“We have an excellent long-standing relationship with Ravensdown, and there are significant synergies in having the three operations — cement, lime and ag-lime — all being produced from the one site,” Mr Perry says.
Work on consent applications is well advanced, with a full consultation process due to be undertaken now that the project has received board approval.
“Due to the site’s isolated location, the existing industrial activities already in operation and the excellent roading networks, we believe the site is ideally suited for a small scale cement operation” according to Perry Resources general manager Peter Walsh.
“We expect the plant build process to take 12 to 18 months after consents are granted, with commissioning expected mid-2013. Our aim is to contribute to a revitalised and growing local economy,” Mr Walsh says.
Perry Resources has a proven track record in sustainability and environmental values, and is well regarded in these areas within the industry it operates in. This will continue to be a focus and remains a high priority in relation to this project.
Due to the integrated nature of the cement industry, Perry Resources hasn’t ruled out involving strategic partners, but only at an appropriate time.
“We’ve received expressions of interest from a number of parties,” Mr Perry says. “We are excited about the prospect of bringing more jobs to the Waitomo region, and to growing the Waikato region’s increasingly important role in supplying aggregates and minerals to the upper North Island, especially Auckland.”
Perry Resources is owned by Hamilton-based Perry Group, which was formed by Brian Perry in 1953, and has diverse operations across the aggregate, metal protection, property, distribution and rural sectors.
Perry Group has a history of involvement in innovative projects, including its role as promoter and developer of the successful Hamilton casino and entertainment complex.
There has always been a company focus on giving back to the local community, and to achieve this, the Brian Perry Charitable Trust has been established to support a range of community-driven projects.
Subsidiary Perry Resources has been involved in the aggregate industry since 1976, currently operating five quarry sites throughout the Waikato and Auckland regions.