New chimney for Fonterra factory firing up
Fonterra's Studholme factory near Waimate in South Canterbury should be up and running again by Sunday following the replacement of the 50-metre boiler exhaust chimney.
The new chimney, built in two halves by Timaru company Parr and Co, replaces the existing chimney which was installed in 2007.
Fonterra site manager Alan Maitland said the chimney replacement was made following monitoring of all assets at the site.
"It is standard safety practice [for Fonterra sites]," he said.
"The existing chimney is being replaced with an identical type and we expect to fire up the boilers on Saturday in readiness for the tankers returning to the site."
Paperwork to get the original chimney removed and the new one installed required building, resource and traffic management consents, said Mr Maitland.
"We worked through these with the Waimate District Council."
The site was a hive of industry as three cranes were positioned to get the old chimney down and the new one installed. Part of the work involved lifting workmen in safety cradles to the top of the chimney stack.
Once there, they worked to brace the old stack, weld lugs in place in readiness for the lift and undo the bolts which held the two original pieces together.
Mr Maitland said the changeover had been made a little easier by having the footridges (which circle the stack) already removed.
"They have been fitted to the new chimney," he said.
Another piece of existing equipment making the shift to the new chimney is the wireless operated weather station.
This latest update at the Studholme site is part of a $4 million upgrade since Fonterra purchased the site from New Zealand Dairies.
The site has a staff of 42 plus 15 tanker drivers and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Timaru Herald