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Southland Gets Tanked Up

If Auckland has its Viaduct “basin”, Wellington its “cake tin” Stadium, then Southland is about to land New Zealand’s biggest “spaghetti can” in about two weeks time.

One of the biggest tanks ever constructed in New Zealand is to be barged from Whangarei to Bluff today as part of fertiliser company, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd’s $4.5 million expansion plans for its manufacturing plant in Awarua in Southland.

Built by Culham Engineering in Whangarei, the 30m X 12m steel sulphuric acid tank with a 12,000 tonne capacity is to be transported by a Seatow barge to its new home at South Port New Zealand Ltd in Bluff.

Chief Executive for Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd, Larry Bilodeau, says the Awarua expansion will enable the company to increase production at the plant and therefore effectively cater for the needs of Southland’s burgeoning agricultural industry.

“We are committed to ongoing investment in strategic areas and this expansion recognises the value we place on Southland’s importance in the national agricultural scene,” he says.

The new tank will increase acid capability for the Awarua plant initially from 70,000 tonne to 90,000 tonne and will use imported product from environmental recovery streams.

This upgrade will increase superten production capacity for the plant by more than 25% and ensure the company is in a good position to meet the growing demand for this popular fertiliser product.

Caption: Dave Watson of Ballance Agri-Nutrients in Whangarei shows what's needed Ballance-wise with the 400 tonne tank bound for Southland.

Note to Illustrations Editor: Pic is in John McCombe's folder in INL Hub at no charge.

*** ENDS ***

About Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd, New Zealand’s leading manufacturer and marketer of fertiliser, brings together the identities of four iconic regional fertiliser businesses – Northland Fertiliser, BOP Fertiliser, Petrochem and SouthFert – to create a national business renowned for the quality of its products and the knowledge of its people.

With more than 450 employees, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd produces and sells nearly 1.4 million tonnes of product annually, creating a turnover of around $400 million. Its leading products include superten, pasturemag, pasturezeal and New Zealand’s premium urea product, n-rich urea.

Through its links with Norsk Hydro, the world’s largest fertiliser producer, which owns 20 per cent of its business, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd also has access to the products and knowledge generated by a $US30 million annual spend on Research and Development.

Ballance has three phosphate manufacturing plants located at Mount Maunganui, Invercargill and Whangarei and it also operates New Zealand's only ammonia urea plant at Kapuni, in Taranaki. Its head office is situated in Mt Maunganui.

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