GEA has been awarded a contract by Mataura Valley Milk Limited to construct a nutritional powders plant in McNab near to Gore in the south island of New Zealand.
The plant will process fresh milk and ingredients into added value nutritional powders as well as standard skimmilk and wholemilk powders. The value of the order to GEA is a figure in the mid double-digit millions (EUR).
The new plant, expected to begin production for the 2018 season, will produce around 140 tonnes of nutritional powder per day. Included in the GEA scope is a milk reception and standardisation plant, powdered and liquid ingredients handling, batch formulation, evaporation and drying, powder handling and filling into 25kg bags. It will also feature a high degree of process automation and product traceability. Energy efficiency and environmental impact have also been a key focus in the plant design.
Mataura Valley Milk is majority-owned by Chinese Animal Husbandry Group (CAHG), a Chinese company. Roughly half of the premium nutritional powder produced by the new plant will be exported to China, where Mataura Valley Milk expects steady growth in demand for this product.
"This contract, which was long-awaited to win by GEA, serves as further proof of our technological leadership and strong market position in the field of dairy processing," explains Jürg Oleas, CEO of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft. "It also demonstrates the continuing investment appetite of our customers as they attempt to satisfy the growing consumer demand on the Chinese market for milk-based infant formula and other high-quality milk products - and that in an environment impacted by regulatory changes. Although the challenging economic conditions mean that GEA s order intake in the fourth quarter of 2016 will not repeat the record level achieved in the same quarter of the previous year, we are confident that customers throughout the world will continue to invest in our process technologies and place major orders for all product areas and applications."
Picture: Green field at the Mataura Valley Milk factory in New Zealand, where GEA will build a nutritional powders plant (Image: Mataura Valley Milk)