Mar 14 2012 --- Fonterra's first new processing site in 14 years is on track for taking milk at Darfield from August. At the same time, already underway are plans for a second drier at the Canterbury site.
Work on the new $300 million development will begin in the next few months and is due to be complete for the 2013 season.
Fonterra Trade and Operations Manager Gary Romano said the second drier will have double the processing capacity of the first and enable the Canterbury site to process an additional 4.4 million litres of the region's milk per day - on top of the 2.2 million the first drier will do.
"Our Darfield site has always been about future proofing Fonterra's operations for milk production growth in the South Island. Since we first announced plans for Darfield in 2009 we've seen even more increases in the regions than anticipated," he said.
"At this rate the first drier will be full within a few years so we need to act now to help meet the existing demand and further growth.
"The milk is already there so we need to collect it, and the location of Darfield means our tankers don't have to travel as far for collections."
Another 60 new jobs will be created as a result, adding to the team of 100.
The Darfield site will supply milk powder to markets such as the Middle East, South East Asia and China.
"This is an important development for the region and an integral part of Canterbury's rebuild," said Mr Romano.