New $45m spray dryer planned for Waikato Innovation Park

Increasing demand from the sheep milk industry is seeing a $45 million new food spray dryer planned for Food Waikato at Waikato Innovation Park and it could be online by June 2019

The existing spray dryer, which came online just five years ago, is already at capacity, according to Waikato Innovation Park CEO Stuart Gordon.

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“The existing dryer processes about 900,000 litres of sheep milk each year; that’s expected to double in the 2019/2020 season,” he says, “and 50% increases are expected yearly after that for the foreseeable future.”

 “The existing dryer has more than delivered on its original promises and is now sitting at capacity with 308 days of production in the year to June 2017, and achieving $53 million of exports in that year. We now need to be as proactive as possible and get ahead of this rapidly increasing demand from the sheep milk industry.”

The second Dairy Processing Drying facility will have 2.4 times the capacity of the existing Open Access Development Dryer, and will be built alongside the existing dryer at Waikato Innovation Park in Hamilton.

It will be the same height as the existing dryer but will have increased levels of biosecurity that will allow it to produce high-grade infant formula and other products. It is projected to deliver $129 million in exports a year.

Food Waikato will contribute about $1.4 million of the $45 million cost, with debt and equity from dryer users making up the balance. Stakeholders Hamilton City Council (70%) and Callaghan Innovation (30%) are not being asked to contribute but are being informed as stakeholders.

Read more farming news on Farm Trader.

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