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NZMP To Reopen Mothballed Morrinsville Plant

NZMP is to recommission one of its mothballed plants at its Morrinsville site, near Hamilton, to meet increased market demand for wholemilk powder.

The $7.5 million recommissioning project will involve installing technology to reduce any emissions from the plant and to modify existing equipment to ensure compliance with resource consents, Occupational, Safety and Health and MAF requirements.

The plant to be recommissioned, is the largest of three at the site and is capable of processing 800,000 litres of milk per day. The plant is forecast to produce 24,000 tonnes of wholemilk powder in the 2002/03 dairy season. The other two plants at the site will remain closed.

NZMP will employ approximately 30 new staff to operate the plant, which is scheduled to take its first consignment of milk on September 1.

The 5.3 tonne per hour wholemilk drier was mothballed in 1999, and has been run on a temporary basis in two of the three seasons since - once to aid capacity during commissioning of the NZMP Te Rapa Co-generation plant and again from September to December of the 2000/01 season to maximise milk powder production.

NZMP Managing Director Chris Moller said it was fortunate that a long-term view was taken when the plant was mothballed in 1999, enabling NZMP to meet increasing market demand for milk powder and to increase its daily milk processing capacity in the North Island at a substantially lower cost than the cost of building new plant.

"The re-opening of Morrinsville also demonstrates the benefit of NZMP's integrated manufacturing business which affords us the ability to rationalise best product mix to deliver the best returns to Fonterra's shareholders.

"It is also positive news for Morrinsville with the prospect of 30 new jobs created in that community," he said.


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