Rocktec purchase will aid SCE group's Aussie push

22:13, Jan 23 2013

Matamata mining and quarrying engineering equipment company Rocktec is set to become the North Island manufacturing base for new owner, Christchurch's Southern Cross Engineering Group, one of the country's biggest mechanical engineering operators.

The nearly 60 year old South Island engineering specialist which services the bulk materials handling, saw milling, wood re-processing and heavy structural and mechnical engineering industries, will keep the Rocktec name and brands because they have ''pulling power'' and market value, said chief executive Paul Thorn.

Forty jobs at the Matamata headquarters of Rocktec are safe, he said.

Rocktec's management are in Christchurch today to discuss how Rocktec's people and expertise can best be utilised to realise Southern Cross' aim of driving its annual revenues to $100 million in five years, Thorn said.

It was possible more staff would be taken on at Rocktec, which designs and makes specialist equipment for the mining and quarrying sectors and has a presence in Yatala, Queensland.


Rocktec was bought from the Stevenson Group for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase, helped by bank debt, would assist SCE's diversified product push into Australia, Thorn said.

Rocktec employed engineers, draughtsmen, metal fabricators and welders among others to provide solutions to the quarrying, mining and mineral processing industries.

Rocktec also has an international dealer and distribution network which supplies Rocktec equipment to clients worldwide.

A recent gypsum handling and conveyor project for Boral Australia in Victoria had been worth about $7m to SCE, while another conveyor and screen installation contract at a New South Wales rock quarry was towards $10m.

SCE group revenues in the year to March 31, 2013 would be somewhere between $50m and $60m.

The quarry upgrade project had helped stimulate the Rocktec purchase, Thorn said.

Thorn said the Rocktec purchase would enable SCE to grow with a merger of two ''high performing'' contract engineering companies.

''They each have a very strong performance history and both will market their established brands in their own areas of expertise. Each can support the other when needed.

''Rocktec had aspirations of growing into Perth . . . [Where] there's heaps of opportunity for the gear we build, and the processes we can work in.''

SCE was already working in Western Australia having won a $7m contract to help supply equipment for an ammonium nitrate plant near Port Hedland.