Proliant Plant Opening
Proliant Plant Opening
The new Proliant (NZ) blood plasma processing plant in Feilding has been officially opened today by the Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.
Proliant’s American owner Mr Nix Lauridsen attended the opening to see the culmination of three year’s work to build the state of the art plant.
The purpose of the plant is to change lives, says Proliant Chief Operating Officer Randy Fitzgerald, the facility does more than convert an agricultural raw material to higher value products.
“The products produced in this operation change lives by being part of diagnostic test kits, vaccine products, life science research, and monoclonal drug production.”
“This New Zealand facility is the second of its type in the world and first of its type in the Southern Hemisphere. This insures continuity of supply and makes Proliant the only large scale manufacture of BSA to have two production facilities.”
“This redundancy of operations guarantees supply of critical materials to the health care industry in the event of unforeseen or catastrophic events occurring in one geographical area.”
Proliant is another example of innovative global companies that are seeing the benefits of setting up in the region, says Manawatu District Mayor Margaret Kouvelis.
“Proliant saw an opportunity in the region to add value to a raw product before it is exported. Our agribusiness systems ensure that the product is traceable, and regionally we are attractive with access to transport networks and lower set up costs than the main centres. Manawatu is growing against the general trend, attracting people and industry that see the benefit of a rural lifestyle.”
The plant takes by-product from New Zealand's Silver Fern Farms cattle processing plants and uses the blood plasma to produce bovine serum albumin (BSA), which is used in pharmaceuticals, for diagnostic tests, vaccines, and is used in medical research.
The BSA produced will primarily be exported overseas to large global clients which aligns with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment business growth themes of encouraging innovation with clear export market links.
The plant is has a current capacity to process 1000 - 1500 tonnes of blood plasma, with the ability to expand up to 3000 tonnes per annum
Currently around 1500 tonnes of blood plasma is produced in New Zealand, of which 99 percent exported unprocessed.
Proliant (NZ) General Manager Paul Lewis said that operating in New Zealand has two significant advantages.
“One of the reasons for setting up here in New Zealand was the traceability of our meat by-products, the second is the lack of disease”
The construction of the $30 million plant on Kawakawa Road Feilding, which has created 130 jobs, was announced in May 2013 following an extensive search across New Zealand for a suitable location
The site was chosen due its proximity to Massey University, central location and enough land for future growth.
The majority of the construction was completed by local Manawatu firms with other New Zealand firms providing the specialised processing equipment.