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Consent for new dryer welcomed

Consent for new dryer welcomed


Westland Milk Products welcomes the approval of its land-use consent application to the Westland District Council for a new dairy nutritionals dryer on its Hokitika site.

Subject to there being no appeals over the next 15 working days, Westland expects work on the $102 million project to commence almost immediately.

General Manager Operations Bernard May says Westland is pleased that the conditions imposed by the commissioner who heard the application are within the scope expected by Westland and, indeed, several are conditions the company itself suggested as part of its efforts to work with potential objectors to address their concerns.

“This is an excellent decision for the future growth and strategic direction of Westland Milk Products,” May says, “and one we fully expect will have a positive impact on shareholder incomes as well as bringing real economic benefit to our community

“Westland has a strong history of producing high quality milk powders and butter,” May says, “but we have made a strategic decision to shift further production toward high-end nutritional products, such as infant formula. Nutritionals consistently deliver higher margins than milk powders and will lead to better pay-outs for our shareholders as well as placing Westland on pathway to a more secure and sustainable future.”

May says the conditions imposed on the consent will mean that there will be almost no additional impact on the environment as the Hokitika factory will still be able to operate under already existing air and wastewater discharge permits.

Mr May says shareholders were advised of the council’s decision yesterday and will be fully briefed at shareholder meetings in May.

The new dryer will allow Westland to produce an additional 23,000 metric tonnes of nutritional product per season. The co-operative has engaged the services of Babbage Engineers as project managers and the plant will be built by Tetra Pak. It is expected to be commissioned in August 2015 and generate sales of $115million per year when at full capacity.

The approval for D7 comes on top of a series of investments by Westland including the D6 dryer last season, a new boiler at Hokitika and investigations into a possible milk processing plant at its Rolleston site.

ENDS

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