New Auckland canning plant beats the challenges.

Babbage engineers and project managers overcame a suite of challenges to get Synlait’s new infant formula blending and canning plant operating on time.

The $55 million plant in Mangere, near Auckland International Airport, began production on November 21 with a capacity of 32,000 MT per annum.

Synlait purchased The New Zealand Dairy Company and their partially constructed process facility on May 31st, Babbage Consultants were engaged by Synlait to manage the completion of the 4200 square-metre plant. The first task was to implement changes required to bring the project into line with Synlait’s quality and timeline requirements.

“This was an exercise in co-operation and bringing focus to a development that had fallen behind schedule,” Babbage senior process engineer and the project manager, Daniel Archer said.

Getting the work on schedule to meet Synlait’s required timeline while managing design change requirements was the biggest challenge.
That involved co-ordinating the work of up to 15 different contracting companies that were on site at the peak of the operation, and liaising with European companies supplying key equipment. Babbage also worked closely with Ministry for Primary Industries inspectors whose work was essential for the required registration certification.

The new plant doubles Synlait’s canning capacity to 64,000 tonnes of formula a year and gives the company a second site, along with the opportunity to increase the number of customer brands that can be exported to China.


The project team for Synlait's new Auckland new infant formula blending and canning plant.