With Lockdowns, Bubbles and COVID management plans becoming a distant memory, the memories of working from home remain raw. However, the battles for internet access at home during these periods has given us a greater appreciation for the role technology plays in allowing us to adapt our lifestyle and practice lifesaving isolation during those trying times. Of interest is the new language and phrasing that has been created during this “unprecedented COVID event”. I now have more respect for the meaning behind social distancing, workplace hygiene and social tracking. This is going to be something to tell the grandchildren! Coming out of COVID, we are constantly asked about how the market is performing and where it is heading. Well, we can say that the New Zealand Building and Construction industry is tracking on a significant trajectory at present. Consumption of cement is at or slightly above levels seen in the 12 month period prior to the Lockdown event. Our factory and supply chain networks are fully occupied right up to Christmas. However, the 2021 Year is anyone’s guess at present, but things are looking strong.
From COVID to Carbon… At Golden Bay we are about to embark upon the next big phase of our carbon reduction journey. From 28th December 2020 to 31st January 2021, our Portland clinker production facility will shutdown to undergo a major modification to incorporate the much awaited “end of life tyre” burning equipment. The equipment that has been engineered in Denmark and manufactured in Whangarei will soon be installed at Portland. This will convert up to 60% of New Zealand’s domestic worn and disused tyres. An interesting benefit of using tyres - both as a fuel to create the heat and as a source of iron for the iron oxide component of our cement - is that our carbon footprint is reduced by removing our reliance on some 13,000 tonnes of coal per year. This initiative is but one of many that Golden Bay is focusing on in order to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2030. There are other carbon initiatives discussed in this edition of 'The Bulletin'. As far as cement supply is concerned during this December / January period, we will continue to produce cement from a stockpiled source of clinker and ingredients that will be assembled prior to the shutdown. So rest assured, GBC Genuine cement will be available and will continue to be supplied throughout New Zealand.
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