Westland f ires up new boiler

By Brendon McMahon

Westland Milk Products new $23 million boiler has been fired up for the first time since construction began 10 months ago.
Engineering staff and representatives of construction company RCR gathered to witness the event yesterday morning.
Westland engineering manager Brent Robinson said the initial wood fire would be built up in stages over the next few days to gradually bring the new boiler up to temperature.
This was to ensure the concrete lining of the firebox was properly cured, before the switch to hotter-burning coal.
The project has been under way since October last year with the new 30MW boiler No 5 built alongside the more recent boiler addition on the site, No 4.
“It’s on schedule for both time and budget,” Mr Robinson said.
The new boiler shares a common chimney stack with No 4, along with automatic coal feeder and ash disposal system.
Commissioning of the boiler and associated equipment, including staff amenities and a control room, will occur over the next few weeks.
The new boiler will then be ready for formal testing and connection to the main factory steam-line by RCR. The entire project is expected to be formally opened in September.
Mr Robinson said the $23m project would officially render two 46-year-old boilers elsewhere on the Hokitika factory site redundant.
Significantly it will increase overall steam capacity, with the D7 dryer currently under construction — an associated project which will ramp up production on site.
The old boilers should be removed by next April while another existing boiler, No 3, will remain as a backup.