Concreting giant Holcim mothballs Ipswich operations

Holcim in Tivoli.
Holcim in Tivoli. Rob Williams

MULTINATIONAL company Holcim has shut two manufacturing plants in Ipswich as part of a nationwide cut in staff and facilities.

The Swiss company with outlets in 70 countries announced plans last November to lay off 150 staff and mothball 30 facilities in Australia.

Holcim Australia, previously known as Readymix, employs about 3200 staff and another 1800 contractors and casual workers.

Holcim said it was "responding to softer market conditions nationally by mothballing and closing some sites".

Mothballing, the company said, meant the plants were closed down temporarily until the market picked up.

"In Ipswich we mothballed our Tivoli concrete plant and closed our sand operation, which was coming to the end of its natural economic life and due to close regardless of market conditions," a Holcim spokeswoman said.

"The one employee at our concrete plant has been redeployed and of the seven employees at the sand operation, two were redeployed and five others have taken redundancies.

The one employee at our concrete plant has been redeployed and of the seven employees at the sand operation, two were redeployed and five others have taken redundancies.

"We continue to work on a replacement for our sand operation and will look to reopen our concrete plant when the market picks up again.

"While the softer conditions in south-east Queensland means Holcim must adjust its business to suit, the company remains positive about the long term future."

She said Holcim was continuing with the development of its multi-million-dollar concrete pipe and precast plant at Swanbank.

In 2011, Holcim announced it would invest $75 million building a manufacturing plant in Ipswich's new industrial precinct Swanbank Enterprise Park.

Holcim said the development would deliver 200 jobs during construction and about 140 jobs once it was fully operational.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the two plants closing was bad news but there were lights on the jobs horizon for Ipswich.

"I hate to lose any jobs," he said. "But we're lucky we're fighting strongly because we're also creating jobs like the Holcim jobs at Swanbank. Other communities are losing plants and jobs and not getting anything back."

We're lucky we're fighting strongly because we're also creating jobs like the Holcim jobs at Swanbank.

Topics:  cement plant, holcim, readymix, swanbank concrete pipe and precast plant



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