Boral will cease clinker production at its Maldon cement works, axing up to 28 jobs in the process.
The company announced production will end on December 31 and lead to a staffing restructure.
Boral Cement Executive General Manager Ross Harper said a decline in demand for off-white clinker, which forms the basis of a range of specialty cement products, was behind the decision.
“Unfortunately demand has declined sharply as consumers switch to products made from imported ‘white’ clinker.
“This decline has coincided with a downturn in demand, rising costs of production, the availability of cheap imported clinker and the slow recovery of the building and construction industry.
He said the combination of these factors, plus the Maldon kiln’s high cost and sub-scale output, rendered off-white clinker production unsustainable at Maldon.
Wollondilly Shire Council mayor Benn Banasik said the job losses would hit the community hard.
‘‘Obviously it’s very disappointing, the loss of any jobs,’’ he said.
‘‘I still have to recognise Boral will be remaining as a major employer in the area and I welcome them staying.
‘‘[But] it’s quite a state of affairs when imports are competing so much against Australian made materials and local jobs are being lost like this.’’
About 60per cent of Wollondilly residents already travel outside the shire for work.
Mr Harper said affected employees would receive assistance to “transition to other opportunities internally or externally”.
In October 2013, Boral closed its Berrima (Medway) coalmine, resulting in more than 30 job losses.
Mr Harper said Boral would maintain its Maldon grinding mill, packaging and associated logistics on site.
Around 54 employees will be retained.