Pahiatua to host new spray dryer

SUE O'DOWD
Last updated 10:16 06/12/2012

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Fonterra is planning a new drier at its Pahiatua site, to meet demand for more milk processing capacity in the North Island.

The dairy giant is applying for consents to build a new milk powder drier, similar to the one that has just opened in Canterbury.

If it goes ahead, the new drier will process 2.5 million litres of milk a day and will be able to produce up to 85,000 metric tonnes of milk powder.

It will ease processing pressure in the lower North Island during dairy season peaks, Fonterra director of New Zealand operations Brent Taylor says.

The company's two driers at Pahiatua are already running at capacity, processing 1.4 million litres a day.

For 12 years the company has dispatched at least 1.6 million litres of milk a day by train, for processing at its Whareroa site near Hawera.

While most of the growth in dairy farming was in the South Island, there was still some growth in the North Island.

Taylor said Fonterra had investigated a number of possible locations in the North Island to expand processing capacity. Pahiatua's proximity to good infrastructure, such as a nearby port and rail lines, made it a good option.

"We can build a drier with the latest technology, so wastewater could be treated and irrigated to neighbouring land," he said.

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