Announcement expected tomorrow on Hillside sale

04:00, Nov 14 2012

KiwiRail bosses are expected to announce the partial sale of Hillside Engineering Workshops at the Dunedin plant tomorrow.

However, the corporation is refusing to give details.

Several well-informed sources have told The Southland Times at least part of the Hillside plant had been sold and that KiwiRail executives would be in Dunedin tomorrow to announce the move.

The buyer was Australian engineering giant Bradken, which had a presence in Dunedin's industrial Tewsley St, industry sources said.

"We are not confirming anything," KiwiRail communications manager Kimberley Brady said in a response to questions today.

On Monday, Brady said an announcement was due this week. Today, she was adamant KiwiRail was not ready to comment because the sale had not yet been signed and sealed.

While in Dunedin two weeks ago, Prime Minister John Key said said an announcement was nigh.

Key said the Hillside foundry and heavy lifting equipment were the most likely aspects of the business to go.

KiwiRail made 44 Hillside workers redundant in July 2010, leaving 130 workers. It put Hillside on the market in April and a leaked strategic report outlined plans to close the plant if it did not sell.

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The Southland Times