Fonterra Lichfield powder expansion project in full gear

18 April 2016

The Lichfield powder expansion is a hive of activity, as over 600 builders and contractors work towards its completion ready for first milk in August. 

Situated in the South Waikato halfway between Putaruru and Tokoroa, the expansion of Fonterra’s Lichfield site will see the addition of a new 30 tonne per hour wholemilk powder plant which will rival Fonterra’s Darfield dryer as one of the largest milk powder dryers in the world. In addition to the dryer, the project includes energy and utilities, a 35,000m2 drystore with rail load out, as well as a biological waste water treatment plant and irrigation. The addition of the new dryer will see the site’s milk production capacity more than double, from 3.2 million to 7.6 million litres of milk per day.

The project first broke ground in September 2014 and the first concrete was poured in January 2015. Over the subsequent year, the build has brought hundreds of builders and contractors to the site, with the current count sitting at over 600 people on site each day. Over that year, the team has delivered a number of significant milestones culminating in the lift of the 121 tonne dryer chamber into its final position inside the dryer tower. 

Though a lot has been achieved to date, there is still a significant amount of work left with final installation works to complete, services terminations made and commissioning all carefully scheduled to ensure the first powder through the dryer is produced on schedule.

The Lichfield powder expansion has drawn on many of Babbage’s core services including construction management, process engineering, structural, geotech and architecture. For a project of this magnitude and complexity to be delivered on time and within budget takes a team effort.

The Fonterra project team has a significant Babbage presence, and is focused not only on technical solutions but also on developing strong relationships with the contractors and other consultants. As a result Babbage are significantly contributing to the success of the Lichfield powder expansion.

The new milk drier for Dairy Goat Cooperative.