While construction slows at the new Glenavy dairy factory
in Cooney Rd over Christmas, it is expected to be ready to
process milk from next season. Photo by David Bruce.
The pace is expected to quicken from the new year on
construction of a $214 million dairy plant at Glenavy when
installation of processing machinery and plant starts.
Just before Christmas, pieces of the drying plant, which will
go into the 47m-high drying tower with its chimney, and
boilers started to arrive on site.
While construction ramps down from about 200 staff to a
smaller number over Christmas, that was expected to build up
to about 300 in the new year, when contractors come on site
to fit plant, Babbage construction site manager Murray
The numbers on site were expected to get even higher nearer
Construction is about halfway through, and the factory is
expected to be ready for testing and commissioning in May or
''Construction is up to time,'' Mr Gifford said.
New Zealand-owned Oceania Dairy originally obtained resource
consents for the plant in February 2010, but plans to build
it foundered when funding could not be obtained because of
the global economic crisis.
In April, the company and its plant plans were bought by
Chinese company Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group.
Milk will be processed into infant formula and exported to
China. Initially, the plant will employ about 70 people,
processing 130 million litres of milk annually.
At full production, the plant will produce 47,000 tonnes of
powder from 300 million litres of milk.
The first contract for a supplier was signed with Aad and
Wilma van Leeuwen, who own dairy farms in Waimate and the
It will need up to 40 farmers for next year's season.
Company chief executive Aidan Johnstone said the van Leeuwens
were dairy industry leaders in the area, and represented the
type of farmers it wanted to work with.