$23m boiler project in full swing

By Brendon McMahon
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A 64m-high crane is on site at the Hokitika dairy factory as huge components start arriving for the $23 million new boiler.
Project manager, RCR Energy, said the crane would be used for at least 11 weeks and was capable of 250 tonne lifts.
Project manager Grant Garrity said the crane would lift major components, some of which arrived on the site by road last Friday, during assembly of the new boiler.
“It’s mainly here for the big lifts,” Mr Garrity said.
Over 220 tonnes of boiler components, manufactured in Thailand to a RCR design will be lifted during assembly. Concrete equating to 550 cubic metres has also been poured on site for foundations and service infrastructure.
Mr Garrity said up to 60 people had been involved in the project so far, with RCR using as many local subcontractors as possible.
The new boiler is scheduled to be finished by July and commissioned in September.
RCR was also involved in building Fonterra’s new Darfield plant.
Westland Milk Products engineering manager Brent Robinson said the new boiler would eventually allow the two labour intensive 45-year-old boilers, known colloquially as ‘Sally’ and ‘Sue’, to be decommissioned. They would go after the new boiler was fully commissioned and running smoothly.
Mr Robinson said the project included improvement to coal servicing for the adjacent boiler 4, commissioned in 2002. Both boiler 4 and the new boiler would be fed coal through the existing conveyor system.
He said Westland Milk needed increased steam volumes to meet increased production but the new 30 megawatt coal-fired boiler would also be more fuel efficient have much lower emissions.