Thursday, November 15, 2018
 Fonterra’s New $30M Dry Store Site Ready For Peak Season  

As the 2014-15 dairy season moves towards peak milk production, a huge new $30 million drystore at Fonterra's manufacturing site near Hawera, New Zealand is swinging into operation.


Christchurch contractor Calder Stewart, with 15 subcontractors from Taranaki and elsewhere, started building the new facility in June of 2014. The state-of-the-art facility has been completed in time for Fonterra to store on site all product manufactured from the 14.5 million liters of milk which arrives at Whareroa, near Hawera, daily during the peak.

Since 2011, the co-operative has invested more than $50 million in storage facilities at its Whareroa site. A $23 million state-of-the-art 4000sqm cool store with storage for 12,500 tons of mozzarella and cheddar cheese opened two years ago.

The new 20,400sq m dry store, measuring 250m x 66m and 13m high at its apex, can hold 27,000 tons of product. It almost doubles the site's total dry storage capacity to 70,000 tons.

A total of 250,000 cubic meters of soil was moved to build a buffer beside the facility to reduce noise heard by neighbors. Servicing the new stores are 1.5km of new storm water drainage and 800m of new rail track.

The store will eliminate double and quadruple handling of product and will mean 280,000 tons of milk powder manufactured in the five powder plants at Whareroa each season can now be packed and stored there ready to go directly to the customer. Until now, some product has had to be stored at other Fonterra facilities or in other companies' warehouses.


The facility will mean reduced freight movements by road and more movement by rail. This week the first train of 18 containers was loaded at the store's indoor rail siding for export.


"The less we touch it the better," Fonterra's regional distribution manager for the lower North Island, Richard Tyson, said. "The intention is for all product manufactured here to be stored on site.

"I'm excited about seeing the investment in the site and the region," said Tyson, whose Hawera-based role makes him responsible for the distribution of product processed at Fonterra's sites at Pahiatua, Longburn, Whareroa and Eltham.

A staff of 34, including two new employees, works 12 hours a day, seven days a week in the new facility. The 1.4 ton pallets of milk powder can be stacked five high. Each shift can load 40 containers a day and put up to 1100 tons of product into storage.

Up to 50 containers holding 24 tons of dry product can leave the site each day so the total can be as high as 2000 tons.

Forklift driver Patrick Kerehoma said the store's design made it easier to load product and it was much lighter and brighter than the other dry storage areas. "It's beautiful," he said.

South Taranaki district mayor Ross Dunlop said Fonterra's $50 million-plus investment at Whareroa showed it was committed to staying at and improving its Whareroa site.

"And that's really good for the future of Fonterra in South Taranaki."

Whanganui MP Chester Borrows said that level of investment in the industry boded well for the future at a time of fluctuating prices. It proved the co- operative was committed to South Taranaki and gave confidence to the staff, farmers and local business owners.

Source: Taranaki Daily News


Posted on Friday, September 26, 2014 (Archive on Friday, October 03, 2014)
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