Post-harvest fire at Oakside site
Seeka advises of post-harvest fire
TAURANGA, 5 March, 2015 — Seeka Kiwifruit Industries Ltd (NZX-SEK) advises that a significant fire occurred at its Oakside Post-Harvest site overnight. No people were injured in the fire that is understood to have taken hold around midnight on the evening of 4 March. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
The fire has destroyed the North Shed component of the site. This shed is typically used later in the season for quality checking and repacking fruit prior to dispatch. It is also used for forklift storage. The main pack-house, forecourt, curing canopy, and rear coolstores are all unaffected by the incident. The central coolstores are partially affected to the extent of some damage to a common wall that is adjacent to the North Shed. A preliminary inspection has shown that one coolroom of approximately 250k trays of capacity is significantly affected. More detailed investigation and engineering reports will follow. Oakside is expected to process more than 9m class 1 trays of kiwifruit at its Oakside site in 2015 out of a total Seeka handled volume of more than 24m trays.
While kiwiberry is being processed on site, no fruit has been affected by the fire and the processing operation and equipment is now being reviewed to assess if it can stay on site or be moved to an alternate site.
Seeka carries comprehensive insurance cover. Our immediate focus is to render the site safe once the Fire Service has completed their job. The Company will undertake the repairs and operational changes to enable the upcoming kiwifruit season to run without any adverse effect to our growers.
Also at this stage Seeka does not anticipate any material affect to earnings, noting its comprehensive insurance cover. Seeka will advise under the continuous disclosure rules if this position changes.
Seeka would thank and express its appreciation to the Rural Fire Service who responded to the fire calling on units from Te Puke, Katikati and Edgecumbe. The quick and responsive action of the Fire Service has successfully averted a far bigger disaster.