New dairy factory on track to deliver
More than 200 construction workers and subcontractors are working on the Oceania Dairy factory being built at Glenavy in South Canterbury.
The $214 million factory, owned by the Chinese company Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, is due for commissioning in June or July this year.
Babbage Construction site manager Murray Gifford said construction work was "up to time".
"The 46m-high drying tower has reached the 32-metres point and we have eight levels to go before we reach the top," he said.
Site works also include the construction of the drier which will sit in a cradle within the drying tower, and installation of a number of services including communications, drilling for the site's water supply and building the control centre, the tanker discharge station and the boiler.
Water tanks are already on the site and centre pivots, which will be used to discharge wastewater, are being placed on neighbouring farmland.
Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group gained approval to buy Oceania Dairy in April last year and construction of the plant started almost immediately.
Once the plant has been commissioned, milk will be processed at the site into infant formula and exported to China.
At full production, the plant will produce 47,000 tonnes of milk powder from 300 million litres of milk.
The first 50 foundation suppliers, including Aad and Wilma van Leeuwen who own dairy farms in Waimate and the Waitaki Valley, have signed a contract to supply the new factory which is expected to employ about 70 people once it is operational.
- The Timaru Herald