Nutrition plant will set the standard

Nutrition plant will set the standard

Mataura Valley Milk’s $240 million nutritional plant, currently under construction just north of Gore, will be unique in Australasia, general manager Bernard May says.
The co-operative will manufacture infant formula, ultra-high temperature (UHT) cream and a small amount of skim milk powder, mostly for export. “It’s not a dairy plant – it is a nutrition plant,” Bernard says.
“We will be making premium nutritional formulas that sit at the highest end of the nutritional dairy product mix, focused on the premium to super-premium end of the consumer market.”
Bernard says the plant incorporates features which will set it apart from a traditional dairy plant, and as the ability to meet and exceed several international nutritional validation standards. “We’re absolutely confident that right here now, we’re building the world’s best nutritional formula plant.”
Ground work started in August 2016 and he says that the construction is right on track to meet its August 2018 commissioning deadline. “It is fantastic for a project that has been going for two-and-a-half years, and a year of that was in the design phase.”
Last month, services comprising electricity, water and compressed air, along with the plant’s waste treatment plant were being commissioned.
Bernard says that as part of the devleopment, the company has also made a multi-million dollar investment to upgrade Gore District Council’s wastewater infrastructure.
Production areas will be commissioned through late June and July with the first commercial production on the new site starting early August.
“To be getting it to the point where we’ve got a $240 million investment built in Southland…it will be a real milestone to get to the end of that,” Bernard says.
The scale of the project is apparent in some of the numbers; total work hours are expected to be about 450,000, with 350 workers on site during the final phase of construction.

Nutrition plant will set the standard
Production areas will be commissioned through June and July with the first commercial production starting in August.

 
Bernard says that groups, including farmers and business people who have had the benefit of viewing the site have been impressed.
“Absolutely they are blown away with, not only the scale of what’s getting built, but also the [robotic] technology that’s being incorporated in the plant.”
“Given that we are building a brand new plant, it allows us to put all the most modern technology together onto one site at one time.” “It will be the first dairy plant in New Zealand to be using fully electric fork-hoists in the warehouse.”
Nutrition plant will set the standard
Mataura Valley Milk’s $240 million nutritional plant, currently under construction just north of Gore, will be unique in Australasia.

 
Despite the scale and complexity of construction, Bernard is not inclined to lose sleep, thinking about the myriad of tasks ahead.
“One of the advantages of a project of this size is that you get a lot of good people coming together on one site. “While, it obviously can be stressful at times, but we have the best people we could find to build this plant.”
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